What is Outside Innovation? According to Patricia Seybold, who wrote a very good book on the subject, “it’s when customers lead the design of your business processes, products, services, and business models. It’s when customers roll up their sleeves to co-design their products and your business. It’s when customers attract other customers to build a vital customer-centric ecosystem around your products and services”.
In a recent entry over her blog she described how the trends in corporate information technology are changing the way companies handle the overall business strategy. The most interesting part, in my opinion, is her four-fold classification of innovation labs, which are places or processes that companies might use to co-develop innovations with their customers. The four types are:
Customer Innovation Labs: “these are labs whose purpose is to provide interfaces and tools for external developers and super users to use, made popular by Google and Yahoo!”.
Innovation Incubators: “these are usually internal labs that are set up to spawn rapid prototypes, test new concepts, and develop new solutions (…) today the trend is to Invite selected customers in to roll up their sleeves and play along”.
Labs for Internal Lead Users: “it’s a lab that encourages your lead business users to strut their stuff and to continue to experiment”.
Online Gaming Platforms as Business Innovation Labs: “using an online gaming environment as a test bed for both new technologies and new business prototypes”.
You can read the full entry here.