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Crowdsourcing Open Innovation for SMEs
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Crowdsourcing Open Innovation for SMEs

Editor's Note: The following guest post comes to us from BrainSourcer, which went online in September 2012 with the goal of enabling European companies to tap into the potential of open innovation with the help of its international community through its crowdsourcing platform.

Crowdsourcing, as a special open innovation tool, can present a powerful supplement for organizations in their effort to develop new concepts by using the so-called collective intelligence.

The most important aspect here is the breakup of limits and boundaries, in particular mental blocks in the heads of both management and employees. This is the base of all open innovation -- only an open mind will have success with it.

BrainSourcer is now delivering a tool for European SMEs to match the effectiveness of platforms like P&G‘s ‘Connect and Develop’ and many others from the big corporations, who are already gaining over its smaller peers.

Take for instance Germany, where most of the DAX companies (Adidas, Bayer or BMW just to name a few) are employing their own open innovation and crowdsourcing projects. However for SMEs without the same financial capacity, similar efforts may not pay off because the setup and maintenance of such a platform is extremely time consuming and if the platform is not used on a regular basis, the community will wither.

Therefore an outsourcing of this service makes more sense. Apart from the aforementioned arguments, add the advertising effect and the extraordinary low cost compared to other methods and you will see there is no way around it for many SMEs that want to stay competitive.

But unfortunately those arguments still have to reach their targets. SMEs are still far too reluctant to use open innovation and in particular crowdsourcing platforms. The old "invented here" paradigm still  seems to be working, for now.

What will bring a change to this attitude? Once sales are plummeting? Sometimes not even then, based on what we've experienced.

As said before, open innovation crowdsourcing needs foremost an open mind and still a lot of educational work.

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