7th dec, 2008

The innovation sharing challenge

Danish newspaper “Erhvervsbladet” has an article (in danish) today about the new sharing culture in innovation. Inventors and creative minds increasingly share their ideas in networks. The upside of this tells Mads Thimmer from innovation lab is that the entrepreneurs generate new and better ideas through sharing and networking. The idea of the lone inventor is dead or cannot be carried out in practice. The downside however is that they risk revealing an otherwise patentable idea.

What you need to do as an inventor is to consider who in your network can help you and then create a more formalized coorporation. The formalization is an agreement not to share information without permission outside the network (NDA-agreement basically). This makes the network a bit more rigid, but it enables you to both have the cake and eat it. You get the benefit of sharing knowledge and the possibility for patent protection if desired. Furthermore you must consider your business model. And this is a point where the lone inventor still survives. How do you market your product? fee or free? Distribution, partnerships etc. should also be considered.

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