Innocentive: The Scalable Problem-Solver
In essence what Innocentive does is it provides a platform where you can post a really challenging problem and offer a reward to anybody who can come and provide a solution.
John Hagel III has nearly 30 years experience as a management consultant, author, speaker and entrepreneur, and has helped companies improve their performance by effectively applying information technology to reshape business strategies. John currently serves as co-chairman of the Silicon Valley-based Deloitte Center for the Edge, which conducts original research and develops substantive points of view for new corporate growth.
Before joining Deloitte, John was an independent consultant and writer. Prior to that, he held significant positions at leading consulting firms and companies. He is the founder of two Silicon Valley startups.
John is the author of a series of best-selling business books, including Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box and The Only Sustainable Edge. He has won two awards from Harvard Business Review for best articles in that publication and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and professional service firms. Additionally, he and Center Co-chairman John Seely Brown recently contributed a chapter to Business Network Transformation: Strategies to Reconfigure Your Business Relationships for Competitive Advantage (2009) and The Power of Pull (April 2010; 2nd edition December 2012).
In essence what Innocentive does is it provides a platform where you can post a really challenging problem and offer a reward to anybody who can come and provide a solution. And it’s been remarkably effective. People get very challenging problems and get solutions to those problems. And one of the interesting things that comes out if you look at the research that’s been done on where are these answers coming from.
It turns out that the significant majority of the answers that are posted and get rewards on Innocentive’s platform do not come from within the discipline that the problem was posted. So if it was a problem in chemistry you’re more than likely not to get the answer from another chemist. You’re likely to get the answer from somebody in a completely different discipline who’s just coming at this with a very different angle.
So it’s that unexpected encounter. You wouldn’t even know to go outside the discipline or where to go outside the discipline to find the answer yet Innocentive creates that opportunity where posting the problem attracts all kinds of innovative ideas and ultimately a solution to the problem.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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