Monday, May 16, 2011
On outside-in vs. inside-out innovation
Today I participated in presenting to some young people from the Israeli Defense Forces, that are going around in research institutes in academia and industry to understand what is innovation, and what is research. Recently, there has been an article in one of the Israeli newspapers that talked about inside-out vs.outside-in innovation, or where are great ideas coming from? Many companies are trying to do outside-in innovation, doing market surveys to identify gaps and requirements in order to determine what next to do; this article claimed that some of the bigger innovations (e.g. Facebook, iPhone and more) are inside-out, somebody comes with great idea out of the blue, and it is sometimes being used for purposed that the inventor did not imagine. The outside-in is used to refine, and shape the next generations. I believe that this observation is true, one cannot obtain great ideas from customers' requirements, as they typically don't think that they need it until it is there.