Open innovation myths busted

open innovation myths

So far we encountered a lot of myths about open innovation. Here are the top myths – busted:

Open innovation ends
No. Just like sustainability, it becomes a way of doing business. An open innovation project can end, but not overall open innovation strategy. It remains as a way of doing business.

Crowdsourcing does not work – it blocks the company
No. This is one of the more damaging myths. Few platform case studies (not ours) inspired research papers which promoted this myth. This created a fear of engaging larger numbers of innovators. There is no need to engage thousands of innovators at once or to hire armies of managers to evaluate innovations. These cases were the result of poor management, poorly designed strategies, and outdated platforms.

Open innovation is expensive
No. Open innovation is not free but it offers better engagements per money spent compared to most R&D and promotional strategies. For example, ROI of open innovation is substantially higher than that of digital advertising.

Open innovation is only for big companies
No. Everyone who needs to come up with something new for someone else will be better off openly asking for suggestions. Big companies are more visible because they do more promotion. Open innovation will give great results for every type of an organization of every size in every industry and country.

We need to know exactly what to do before we start
No. No industry can be that prepared. Philosophy of open innovation is based on agility and flexibility. It must start with a vision and wide understanding, and build on that. The more defined it is in the start, the less results it will give.

We can do open innovation without a platform
No, you can not. Open innovation today is a form of digitalization. It can appear simple but there are many moving parts which, in 2024, are embedded in digital features of open innovation platforms. You could also send photos by email but it is more effective to use Instagram.

We will have to do what innovators suggest
No. There are no obligations. Receiving an innovation is a start of a dialog or just an inspiration for your own innovation process. Take it as you want, but it is always better to communicate your decisions to innovators.

Open innovation is only for products
Companies need to innovate in every aspect. If they approach this thinking they know everything about everything, this is not healthy. Services, processes, brand, marketing, sales, real estate, investment – everything can be openly innovated. The concept of open innovation is limitless and applicable to all business aspects.

If you know any other myths email them to Nikola at

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 31 May 2024