When to say NO to open innovation?

say no open innovation

Open innovation should not be used for everything. Here are some examples when open innovation should not be used:


High level of secrecy
Many industries require a high level of secrecy in projects and can not share anything outside their strictly controlled environment. These projects are usually in biotech, pharma, defense, high tech. However, such projects can be present in all companies.

You are 100 % sure you can find a solution alone
Some problems are straightforward and there is no need to look for outside resources. This is typical in early stages of competition. For example, GPTs are now just developing and leading companies feel confident they can solve current challenges by themselves.

The solution is closely connected to internal needs
Your new solution needs to solve a complex internal problem. Solving the internal problem requires high level of understanding and external innovators are not motivated to solve it. For example, you want to increase the profit margin by using a new process.

Open innovation costs more than internal innovation
In general, when done right, open innovation is cheaper and more efficient. But there are exceptions. Maybe the external solution would require expensive revenue sharing or other costs.

Intellectual property issues
Some projects have intellectual property restrains which are not ready to include open innovation. Jumping into open innovation without preparing IP is not the best solution at that moment. Some open innovation projects require IP management preparation.


openinnovation.me focuses on bottom-up open innovation which focuses on end-users, customers, and other large groups of innovators in areas hard to innovate internally: safety, comfort, etc. This makes it easy for any company to quickly start practicing open innovation without worrying about above cases.

To start using openinnovation.me for your company email Andrea Toniolo at andrea@openinnovation.me.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 28 Feb 2024