Power of Open Innovation

How to Harness the Power of Open Innovation for Your Company

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Are you a manufacturer looking to stand out from competitors in a crowded market? Or are you a brand owner looking to build a loyal customer base that swears by your products?

In either case, keeping your product line fresh with new innovations is non-negotiable. It’s the key to attracting and retaining customers in a world where consumer needs and preferences shift in the blink of an eye. From Apple and BWM to Starbucks, the world’s most renowned brands thrive on innovation. 

But how do you build a product line that keeps up with changing customer demands and industry trends? While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula to answer that question, one of the most effective strategies is to embrace open innovation. 

With open innovation, you look beyond your company’s internal product team and source ideas from external inventors. And having a liaison within the inventor community, like Brian Fried, by your side makes harnessing new growth opportunities with open innovation easier.

As an inventor coach on the lookout for new ideas, Brian works closely with innovators from various domains. Having him on board can help businesses like yours avoid the common pitfalls of working with inventors outside the in-house product team.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the concept of open innovation and how Brian Fried can help you get started. But first, let’s understand why it’s crucial for companies to grow their product lines.

The Importance of an Evolving Product Line

Tesla, OpenAI, Meta–these organizations have one thing in common. They constantly add new features to their existing offerings to enrich their target audience’s lives. Similarly, had it not been for Moderna and Pfizer’s initiatives to develop the COVID-19 vaccine at breakneck speed, the world might still be grappling with the pandemic.

Manufacturers, too, have to keep brainstorming and identifying new product ideas to retain buyers. As companies launch new products or fresh iterations of their current products, it helps them become the customers’ go-to brand in a given industry. That, in turn, drives repeat purchases, boosts revenue, and ultimately improves customer loyalty.

Moreover, products with outstanding innovation can also help revolutionize industry practices and position your company as a trendsetter. It’s what keeps a business relevant in today’s competitive and consumer-driven market.

But here’s the thing–managing product innovation in-house is easier said than done. To begin with, building a team of driven product developers, market analysts, and researchers is expensive and time-consuming. Also, these team members need rigorous training before they can build products that meet your expectations. Even if you already have a team, their vision might be limited. 

These are precisely the challenges open innovation helps you overcome.

Open Innovation: An Extension of Your Product Development Team

Simply put, open innovation refers to the process of sourcing ideas from individuals outside your organization. Instead of shrouding product development in secrecy, open innovation encourages participation from a wider community of people with bright ideas. 

The concept of open innovation isn’t new. However, the term was formally coined in the early 2000s by Silicon Valley veteran Henry Chesbrough. Several established companies, from Lego to Procter and Gamble, have leveraged the concept to build their brands. 

For instance, the Lego Ideas platform allows the brand’s loyal fans to submit their own ideas for Lego sets. It provides the company with an intimate glimpse of what consumers want and helps develop products that’ll garner instant traction. Besides crowdsourcing ideas from customers, many businesses also connect with the inventor community to source new ideas. 

Open innovation offers several benefits, including cost-effectiveness and faster time-to-market. The biggest advantage is that it provides you with access to an infinite pool of ideas. You’re no longer limited by the shortcomings of your in-house R&D and product development teams. That, in turn, makes your business more attractive to investors.

The Role of an Open Innovation Director: A Closer Look

Despite recognizing the benefits of open innovation, many businesses falter in terms of implementation. The primary reason is a disconnect between the company’s needs and the inventor’s understanding of deal structure expectations. These include intellectual property (IP) rights and negotiating the royalty rates or potential buyout offers.

That’s where an inventor relations liaison like Brian Fried steps into the picture. Having mentored and supported inventors for nearly two decades, Brian has access to a diverse community of innovators. He has also successfully licensed and manufactured many of his own inventions. Additionally, he’s well-versed in the ins and outs of breathing life into new ideas and turning them into profit-making products.

Brian Fried’s vast experience puts him in a unique position to handhold businesses looking to adopt open innovation. As an open innovation director, he can serve as a liaison between your company and the inventor community. 

If you’ve already launched an open innovation platform like Lego, you can bring Brian on board as a part of your R&D department. He can work behind the scenes to vet new ideas based on your expectations, assess their viability, and help you negotiate the right deal with an inventor. 

Alternatively, Brian can reach out to the inventor community through various outreach platforms he manages. He can share your requirements with innovators and invite them to share their ideas. Then, he can validate these ideas to determine whether they are a good fit for your product line.

But the role of an open innovation director like Brian Fried doesn’t stop at just sourcing ideas. He can act as a facilitator, guiding both parties through the intricacies of the innovation process. From ironing out IP issues to finalizing licensing agreements, Brian ensures a smooth transition from concept to market-ready products. His understanding of both the inventor’s perspective and the company’s operational dynamics makes him a valuable asset.

Bridging the Gap Between Companies and Inventors

There are plenty of inventors out there whose minds are brimming with groundbreaking ideas. Having an inventor relations liaison like Brian Fried on board can help you connect with this inventor community and grow your product line. Ultimately, it creates a win-win situation for companies looking to launch new products and inventors who want to monetize their ideas.

If you’re ready to harness the full potential of open innovation for your business, book a consultation with Brian to discuss a strategy best for you and your growth plan.

Also Read: Unlocking the Power of Custom Software: A Guide to Choosing the Right Development Company



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