Thursday, May 18, 2006

New ways of thinking about IP rights in Open Innovation paradigm

I came across a very insightful comment by Henry Chesbrough on the subject of IP rights:

In addition to a new business structure for innovation, Chesbrough also argues for a new approach to innovation strategy. Most leaders approach getting ideas to market as they would a game of chess, in which everyone can see all the pieces and the game is to anticipate the competition’s moves while coming up with innovative moves of your own. Rather, says Chesbrough, we should think of strategic planning and budgeting as poker, because you really don’t know even your own hand, let alone everyone else’s, and you have to pay to get more information. (Henry Chesbrough)

The comment about chess on its own is very interesting for those R&D people in a company who have to deal with the legal department's push-back on information sharing. It's a helpful argument to be able to say that a competitor couldn't figure out what we're going to do knowing our current scenario any more than you could know what your chess opponent is going to do when their pieces are right before you. Knowing your situation will help them identify your options better, that's true, but it doesn't guarantee they'll win the game.


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