Nothing breeds success like success, at least according to the old proverb. However, this is not always the case when it comes to business growth. Many organizations, from Polaroid to Sony, have become victims of their own success: they achieved enormous growth by introducing new products – the Polaroid camera, the Sony Walkman – but as the marketplace matured this growth slowed and they were left looking for alternative paths.
The benefits of open innovation during the current economic downturn have only recently been analyzed. Henry Chesbrough and Andrew Garman have recently published a Harvard Business Review article (June) on this. Wim Vanhaverbeke, Professor of Strategy and Innovation at Hasselt University, Belgium, provides some additional benefits when companies apply open innovation in a downturn, which has not been mentioned in the HBR-article.