Forgot to post the source for the last paragraph above (https://www.unilever.com/about/suppliers-centre/working-together/). I will look forward to seeing Unilever succesfully utilize its broadened open innovation!
This is a really great article to elaborate how a player in the competitive sportwear market should utilize new technology, additive manufacturing in order to stay ahead of competition. Answering the first question raised here, I would say that it’s better for Adidas to utilize 3D printing in the shops as a way of promoting its technology to customers while they keep relatively cheap mass production for medium term. I’d wait until its 3D printing technology reaches the level that it can scale up additive manufacturing. In my knowledge, it is still costly to use additive manufacturing as a sole production method given its high investment cost in 3D printers – also, the technology exponentially improves given its early stage, so Adidas may need to renew its 3D printers soon again for better performance if it makes huge investments now.
This is a really great article to explain how additive manufacturing is proactively utilized in the competitive sportwear market. To the question raised here, I would say that it’s better for Nike to focus on shoes in one sports until its 3D printing technology reaches the level that it can scale up additive manufacturing. In my knowledge, it is still costly to use additive manufacturing as a sole production method given its high investment cost in 3D printers – also, the technology exponentially improves given its early stage, so Nike may need to renew its 3D printers frequently for better performance. This will be the same situation for Nike’s competitors, so I’d recommend focusing on one product and perfecting its technology in order to maintain as a technological leader in additive manufacturing in the sportwear industry.
This is a really interesting article to explain one of the new applications of machine learning. It is quite surprising that CIA and other national intelligence agency already started proactively leveraging machine learning to improve data gathering and data analysis. Given that machine learning is still at its early stage and needs more technological innovation, I would suggest collaborating with external parties such as tech giant mentioned in the previous comments as much as possible without harming confidentiality. One thought is whether it’s possible for CIA to collaborate with intelligence agencies in the U.S. allies countries in order to share best practice in utilizing machine learning for intelligence tasks. This idea sounds risky but it will be beneficial since machine learning generally works better with more data.
It’s a good article to show one of the various applications of machine learning that is not necessarily obvious to many people. As mentioned in previous comments, I think the challenge here is whether it’s easy and clear enough for a machine to learn how to tell fake news. Given inherent subjectivity of telling politically fake news, I am not sure how quickly Facebook will be able to develop a mechanism to tell fake news using machine learning. Also, when we think about scalability of the application (i.e., rolling out the application to different languages), it may take longer to fully apply the application to all the news posted and shared in different languages. But, I personally look forward to seeing one day when Facebook tells me that I’d better take a caution with reading fake news.
This is a good article to explain how a large, mature company can drive innovation by seeking opportunities outside its organization. To the question raised, I think Unilever will be able to and need to identify promising brands and bringing them into its supply chain identify promising brands earlier in order to stay ahead of fierce competition. If they can look into startups not only in the U.S. but also in global markets, they can get more benefits from its extended open innovation.
In terms of extending open innovation, Unilever may explore broader players in open innovation ecosystem such as suppliers, employees, and strategic partners in order to seek ideas from stakeholders with different perspectives. There may be suppliers that can provide new product ideas based on their working relationships with multiple big brands. Employees in non-product development functions may have good product ideas. Unilever may also seek more collaboration with strategic partners such as research centers in FMCG industry. Limiting open innovation to just consumers and young brands may limit sources for innovation.
Especially, since Unilever says “We anticipate that around 70% of our innovations are linked to working with our strategic suppliers. That’s why we invest in mutually-beneficial relationships with our key suppliers so we can share capabilities and co-innovate for shared growth.”, they had better check whether they have a strong mechanism to effectively pull their suppliers in open innovation.
It’s a great article to elaborate how LEGO successfully leveraged its open innovation ecosystem to get product innovation ideas from customers. It seems like LEGO has tapped into almost all aspects of open innovation from its customers. As ‘GM’ mentioned in the one of comments above, LEGO even launched Design byME program that you can design your own LEGO products using LEGO Digital Designer (LDD), a freeware computer program to allows users to build models using virtual Lego bricks in a computer-aided environment – the program was closed, though. One thing that LEGO can do more would be to let people revise their ideas based on others’ comments. For now, it looks like there are little effort to make the idea continuously better once an idea is submitted to LEGO Idea website. Instead of just waiting for 6 months to get more than 10,000 votes, if people can make submitted ideas better so that they can go over the hurdle easily, it will make the open platform more productive.
Also, LEGO may need to rethink what is the best platform to get ideas from young users who may not currently actively use LEGO Idea website. When I see the ideas in the website, there seem many ideas submitted by adults on old/retro things. I wonder whether LEGO can get a good number of product ideas from its target users, kids, given that now it actually sells more lines of products (e.g., video, game) for kids.
Lastly, LEGO may explore broader players in open innovation ecosystem such as suppliers, employees, and strategic partners in order to seek ideas from different perspectives. There may be suppliers that can provide new product ideas based on their working relationships with LEGO over 60 years. Employees in non-R&D functions may have good product ideas. LEGO can also seek more collaboration with strategic partners other than MIT Media Lab. Limiting open innovation to just consumers is limiting sources for innovation.