16 March 2006

“The next big thing is us” or Time Magazine’s take on what’s next

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Business Innovation Insider reports on the cover story in this week’s TIME Magazine which looks at cutting-edge developments in nearly every sphere of human endeavor, including politics, technology, sports, medicine and fashion:

There’s one unifying theme here: "We are on the verge of the greatest age of creativity and innovation the world has ever known," thanks to revolutionary advances in the way that we approach innovation. Call it "open-source innovation," or "open innovation" or "collaborative innovation" or anything you want, but it’s clear that something very interesting is happening in the innovation space:

"Things, broadly speaking, used to be invented by a small, shadowy élite. This mysterious group might be called the People Who Happened to Be in the Room at the Time. These people might have been engineers, or sitcom writers, or chefs. They were probably very nice and might have even been very, very smart. But however smart they were, they’re almost certainly no match for a less élite but much, much larger group: All the People Outside the Room.

Historically, that latter group hasn’t had much to do with innovation. These people buy and consume whatever gets invented inside the room, but that’s it. The arrow points just the one way. Until now it’s been kind of awkward getting them involved in the innovation process at all, because they’re not getting paid; plus it’s a pain to set up the conference call. But that’s changing. The authorship of innovation is shifting from the Few to the Many. Take as an example something called the open-source movement…"

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