Most can remember the hoodie wearing founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerburg strolling across the stage of his F8 conferences talking about how he wants Facebook to make the world a more open place. His plans for the site have always been about promoting openness through innovation and ideas. This spirit of open innovation is not relegated only to Facebook though. Rather, most of the world is now using this idea.
First, lets take a look at exactly what open innovation really is. The University of California Berkeley School Of Business defines it like this:
Open Innovation is the use of purposive inflows and outflows of knowledge to accelerate innovation. With knowledge now widely distributed, companies cannot rely entirely on their own research, but should acquire inventions or intellectual property from other companies when it advances the business model.
This is a very on point way of defining open innovation. It is similar in some ways to being "open-minded" about something. Allowing the ideas of others to come into usage alongside your own ideas.
When new technologies or systems are created in the modern day, they are almost always using open innovation. This is because bringing the ideas of many people together is a lot more powerful than only using the ideas of a few.
The use of the ideas of many different people is also more challenging than only using the ideas of a few. Think of it as trying to put together a puzzle with a 1,000 pieces compared to one with only 50 pieces. Obviously, the 1,000 piece one is more challenging, but it also creates a more complete and beautiful picture in the end. That is what open innovation does for technology.
Even the brightest minds in business and technology know that they are but one mind in a sea of knowledge that is available. These days we are finally starting to put together ideas from diverse points of view. We are finally starting to work on the more complicated puzzles in life, and it is yielding great results.