Are crowdsourced ideas from engaged customers worthless?

Are crowdsourced ideas from engaged customers worthless?

From Kirsten Osolind (@reinventioninc):

Thinking of running an Open Innovation Contest? Think Again. Interesting Read from MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations suggesting that innovation can only come from within, that crowdsourced ideas from engaged customers are basically worthless.

My take:

I think the nature of how we innovate changes. When Henry Ford was alive, the internet didn’t exist. Same thing with the Wright Bros. I think today, where collaboration is almost a given, we’re still figuring out how to open up. The barriers to “being daring” are lower now, but that also means that less daring ideas are on the table. With that said, I personally side with working in smaller groups and strategically tapping outsiders, as opposed to just “opening the gates” to whatever. The enemy is groupthink, it is always waiting to show its head. Lots of opinions are cancelled out by a person’s or small group’s drive to pursue what they clearly think should be done.

Also, it is expected that customers will replace R&D as the main source of new ideas. So, we will see more companies co-creating with customers. That is a given. This is still unexplored territory. The game is still to be defined…

Does innovation only come from within? What do you think?