On October 19th, InnoCentive CEO Dwayne Spradlin was a guest on the CNBC series "The Business of Innovation" with Maria Bartiromo. The segment was called "The Power of the Crowd" and centered on harnessing the collective wisdom of the masses to find answers outside the corporate culture of R&D. One of Dwayne's key points was that the right answers are usually found in unexpected places. His point was illustrated with the examples of two prominent InnoCentive Solvers, Giorgia Sgargetta, from Perugia Italy, who solved the Challenge of turning dishwater blue when more soap was needed, and John Davis, who solved the Oil Spill Recovery Institute Challenge. Giorgia is a chemist who lives in Italy and even though her Challenge was in the Chemistry discipline, she would not have othewise been tapped as a resource by this Seeker.
John Davis was even farther from the Seeker's network - he was not in the oil cleanup and recovery business, and in fact knew very little about it. However, he solved a Challenge that had plagued the oil and gas industry for over 20 years by applying experience he had gained while working as a consultant for a concrete company.
In addition to the profiles of John and Giorgia, the segment featured a video mashup that included the winning video from the 2008 InnoCentive video Challenge. This video was created by InnoCentive Solver John Michael Zervoulei, who certainly had no idea when he submitted it that that his work would be featured on a prominent news program on a major network!
If you haven't seen it, it's worth viewing - the clip can be found here. The "Power of the Crowd" segment begins at 16:10.
Congratulations to John, Giorgia and John Michael.