Thursday, March 24, 2011

Telecoms in Greece

After a 5 year price war, telecoms are bleeding...

The telecom industry in Greece has hit a dead end. After years of losing money, the crisis has hit Greece and things are even worse than before. Telecoms are trying to produce business oriented services since the residential market is dead, but even there they are facing huge problems. The majority of the businesses are doing poorly and the rest of them are simply too afraid to invest.

Still telecoms are trying to provide new services and new solutions to a market that is in a sand box.

In these difficult times people/businesses can really innovate, but they need a plan.

The approach should come from the bottom-up.

Since upper management has tried and failed, now is the time corporations should start tapping into their talent and listening to their employees or their customers for new ideas that could probably help the company overcome this crisis.

Companies nowadays are obliged to create an Open-Innovation environment – culture. They would be amazed at what (ideas) people can come up with.

Telecoms are continually trying to provide services to a market that has no growth instead they should aim to provide services globally. They can facilitate the software, the people & the termination services by providing online services not only for wholesale but also for the retail market. With this approach they can be competitive in new markets.

The bottom line is that businesses should create an Open-Innovation culture. Organizations should cooperate and start an internal growth that could give to the company a competitive advantage in the market. We cannot expect a small management group to innovate and lead successfully the whole time.

All employees should have the opportunity to contribute to a company’s growth afterall, “harnessing bright and passionate minds from every discipline and every walk of life can indeed change the world in the most profound ways” (Dwayne Spradlin CEO of InnoCentive).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Physiotherapy innovation uses Formula 1 technology

Up to now there has been no agreed upon definition of Innovation. In our post “What is innovation”, we used Christopher Freeman’s definition of innovation as the "invention plus commercialization" and Michael Porter’s as a "new way of doing things that is commercialized". According to Hutch Carpenter, Vice President of Product at Spigit, innovation is a "change in a product offering, service, business model or operations which meaningfully improves the experience of a large number of stakeholders". In this post, we will look at a recent innovation in England that reconfirms Carpenter's definition. 

Formula 1 technology has been used in physiotheraphy and offered a quick recovery to a horse rider, Thea Maxfield, who suffered a severely broken neck in a terrible horse riding incident. Read her complete story here and also here . Doctors had issued warnings that she would be paralysed and use the wheelchair for life or worse still, she would even die.

She had a permanent brace fixed in her neck for three months to help fuse the bones back together. In a sudden turn of events, she was completely up on her feet again just after seven months and she now plans to compete in races next year. Credit goes to the physiotherapist Don Gatherer whose innovative device miraculously helped Thea to recover.

The device uses Formula1 technology and this was the first time that this kind of technology has been adapted to physiotherapy. A specially-adapted head brace connected to a computer by tiny sensors which measure the force of steering wheels, suspension, airflow and stresses that Formula 1 cars go through as they speed round the track were used to assess the strength and weakness of Thea's neck. (See the photo that has been taken from the DailyMail.) The information from the sensors to the computer helped physiotherapists to tailor make exercises and monitor the healing at an optimal rate.

Other than being a great innovation, this can be also considered as a good example of open innovation , since Don Gatherer, the physiotherapist, used external ideas and technology from Formula 1 along with internal ideas from the physiotherapeutic field in order to develop his innovative device.

This is not the first time that Formula 1 is associated with innovation and open innovation in particular. Revisit our earlier post, The Power of Openness: Open Innovation Lessons from McLaren". 

The Open Innovation Team

(You can also find us on Twitter)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stefan Lindegaard’s "The Open Innovation Revolution" - Book Summary and Review

I have just finished reading the book "The Open Innovation Revolution: Essentials, Roadblocks and Leadership Skills" by Stefan Lindegaard.  Stefan is a very active member of the LinkedIn and Twitter innovation communities and his expertise is open innovation.  Stefan also comments on and addresses diverse aspects of open innovation through his blog 15inno.

I have been following Stefan’s 15inno closely for quite some time now, and I was actually eager to get my hands on his new book. After reading the book, I have to admit that I am impressed because Stefan, based on his innovation and intrapreneurship work experience, paints a very realistic (and sometimes harsh) roadmap of how open innovation is to be implemented successfully. His direct, personal writing style coupled with his numerous examples of open innovation initiatives (successful and not) and interviews with innovation leaders and intrapreneurs, bring out the characteristics that are essential in designing and implementing effective open innovation programs.  I also especially liked the list of key takeaways that comes in the form of a bullet-point summary at the end of each chapter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Power of Openness: Open Innovation Lessons from McLaren

Early in the month of April, 2010, the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA),  an independent body on innovation in the United Kingdom announced the top 100 global winners of open innovation.  NESTA organized the "Open 100" competition in order "to find global companies and organisations that excel at open innovation and exploit the power of mass collaboration". People throughout the world were invited by NESTA to submit nominations for companies that best exhibit openness in the following five categories: open innovation, crowdsourcing, co-creation, open source and open business. The winner in the category of open innovation was McLaren.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nokia goes Open Source

On February 23rd of this year Nokia announced that Symbian had become Open Source. Google’s Open Source Android mobile phones and the smart phone by Apple (iPhone) have dominated the market with their innovation, beauty and excellence for the last 2 years.

What about Nokia?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Intellectual Property Resources for Innovators

Intellectual Property (IP) is an issue of utmost importance to inventors and innovators that is often overlooked.  In this post, we describe what IP is  and provide URLs with information about different IP topics of interest to people in the (open) innovation community.

According to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, Intellectual Property can be divided into two categories: Industrial Property, and Copyrights ( WIPO defines industrial property to include "inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographical indications of source" and copyright to include "literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in Greece

On Friday, February 26, 2010, we had the chance to attend an interesting all-day workshop on "Intellectual Property Rights & Innovation" at Athens Information Technology (AIT) in Greece.  The workshop, successfuly organized by Dr. Xenia Ziouvelou and Professor Gregory Yovanof (both of AIT), sought «to explore the strategic role of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the course of  innovation in the global and highly competitive information society and highlight the importance of IPR  in promoting innovation and economic performance».  The main goal of the workshop was to merge distinct communities such as the legal,  business (Venture Capital) and the research and academic communities and to provide an opportunity for innovators and IPR experts to share their views and communicate their experience in the field. We plan to give an overview of the workshop now and will return to specific topics that are of interest to us in future posts.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

InnoCentive: The eBay for Innovation

The company InnoCentive is a pioneer in the emerging field of Open Innovation (OI) and a company that is rightly considered OI’s poster child.  InnoCentive is as an electronic marketplace for ideas, an “ideagora” or an “eBay for innovation” as described by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams in their best-seller book “Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything”.

InnoCentive was launched in 2001 as a spin-off from Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical company.  InnoCentive acts as an intermediary between organizations with difficult unsolved problems and people (including scientists, engineers, mathematicians and business people) or organizations that attempt to successfully solve the posed problems in order to qualify for a pre-specified financial reward, ranging from $5,000 to $1 million based on the complexity of the problem.  InnoCentive calls these problems “Challenges”, the organizations that post these problems “Seekers”, and the people and organizations that attempt to provide solutions “Solvers”. 

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Crowdpreneurship and Open Innovation: The case of

Organisations are now in the new age. This is the age of virtual marketplaces.These virtual marketplaces, through the use of Web 2.0, make full use of the crowd for everything in terms of content. So, is crowdpreneurship a type of open innovation? Let's look at the case of

It was started in March 2000 as a local London classified ads and community site, designed to connect people who were either planning to move, or had just arrived in the city, and needed help getting started with accommodation, employment and meeting new people.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 EC analysis

A short history of

Asterisk is a software implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX) originally created in 1999 by Mark Spencer. Asterisk is released under a dual license model, using the GNU General Public License (GPL) as a free software license and a proprietary software license to permit licensees to distribute proprietary, unpublished system components. Source (
“Necessity (and in some cases simply being cheap) is truly the mother of invention. In 1999, having started Linux Support Services to offer free and commercial technical Support for Linux, I found myself in need (or at least in perceived need) of a phone system to assist me in providing 24-hour technical support. The idea was that people would be able to call in, enter their customer identity, and leave a message. The system would in turn page a technician to respond to the customer’s request in short
order. Since I had started the company with about $4000 of capital, I was in no position to be able to afford a phone system of the sort that I needed to implement this scenario. Having already been a Linux user since 1994, and having already gotten my feet wet in Open Source software development by starting l2tpd, gaim, and cheops, and in the complete absence of anyone having explained the complexity of such a task, I decided that I would simply make my own phone system using hardware borrowed from Adtran, where I had worked as a co-op student. Once I got a call into a PC, I fantasized; I could do anything with it. In fact, it is from this conjecture that the official Asterisk motto (which any sizable, effective project must have) is derived: “
It’s only software!
Source (Asterisk* The Future of Telephony)