I commented to one of our partners at our recently concluded Singapore conference if our competition thought we had gone crazy. Unhesitatingly, he stated that "yes they do". That's ok I think. And here's why.
Any fundamental shift in business strategy is typically met with a fair bit of resistance. I'm sure there were those within and outside of P&G, Baxter, NASA (and more) that claimed that management had suddenly gone mad when they embraced open innovation principles to their business. Opening a business, processes and technologies to external inputs (and in some cases control) is daunting indeed because you lose some control.
But here's the thing. We are not thinking about how Open Source Mobility (open innovation adapted to our business) impacts our traditional market or business model. Rather, we think it's the opportunity to drive the market to a new reality. A market that drives itself in a way that is inherently beneficial to customers and partners alike based on the real-time, open dialogue that starts prior to any development activities taking place and continues through to product maturity. Real success will come, I think, when marketing and engineering no longer make product decisions but rather our community of customers, partners and developers does.
The typical corporate knee-jerk response of confidentiality at all costs is an internally focused mind set focused on control that does little to drive activities in a way that benefits customers. And yet this is perceived to be "sane" activity.
So perhaps we are crazy, but guess what? If we crack the code on how to best benefit customers, we also crack the code to driving a more successful and impactful existence in the market. Simple. Everybody wins.
Let’s hope they continue to think we are crazy. The longer they stay in that mode the more time we have to develop and “hone” our organization in the art of openness. At some point they will jump on the band wagon but some of our bigger competitors will have a very daunting task in front of them.
I agree completely and hold firm to the "success will come" you mentioned. Change and the accompanying resistance to change is a part of basic human nature. For Psion to be open with information is cutting against the grain to both the way corporations view the customer/market and the way people interact with each other in this modern society. A story they ran on one of the morning shows recently had the topic of “Are we getting meaner as a society”. Their piece showed the simple things like holding a door and saying please and thank you. People, and subsequently the corporations they are employed at, are so self centered that instead of openness there is an air of ‘they get what they get and they should be happy with that’ permeating modern culture. There are companies out there that believe they know best what the consumer needs and they push that onto the marketplace. I’m glad that Psion can see beyond the norm and rise above the status quo to present an alternative. I believe too that it is through this innovation that strength will emerge. I'm on board, willing to help however I can and I am ready for what the future may hold.
Matt may be right too with the bandwagon analogy. This is something others are going to want to be a part of once they realize what’s going on.
Thanks gentlemen for sharing this insight today.
There were many skeptics among my co works. Any skeletons in our closets would surely be revealed and shared among our partners and customers, then exploited by our competition. We are fostering the forum to reveal and share this info. I am sure our competition thinks we are crazy. This has to make us a better company, because now the info is out there for the world to see and review. There is no choice but to get better at what we do as a company and we are all in it together!
I like our competitors thinking we got crazy. That will make the coninue doing what is incorrect for matching new market needs. That use to thing the same of great genius. History will tell.
Jorge O. Arce.