There are a whole lot of problems with this so-called open innovation model, a prime one, of course, is ownership of IP.

But before we go too far down the path of cooperation and open innovation, it might first be useful to agree on what we mean by the term innovation. Innovation, a word which appears to have been tainted by so many, achieving nothing more than turning the simple into the complex!

More importantly, what’s the connection between a creative or innovative idea and an outcome?

If we think of invention when applied to building a company and making money, which is likely what motivates most innovators, then we will need to consider the dangers in business.

In most instances when an idea has been pursued, and technology development has been undertaken, if it is an IT solution, new Program, a tangible product or a new company, in essence, there are only two dangers which will need to be considered.

The first is that which we can refer to as technical risk, so can the technologist achieve the desired result?

In science and engineering, for the most part, the technologist will provide a solution or at least will have the ability to give some insight concerning the risks involved. For example, if we were to ask the technologist to provide us anti-gravity boots, they’d readily have the ability to assign the risks related to achieving an outcome. Obviously, in this case, the risk would be monumental.

On the other hand, when we requested a clock to be developed with hands which were LED strips which were visible in the darkness, the answer is that this is achievable without technical risk.

In summary, technical risk is something we can generally measure and assign a level of risk.

But, assuming I did attain the technical result with my invention, the actual questions to be asked, and those who too many innovators and even large businesses get so wrong so often are “can I sell it?

Market risk is undoubtedly out the single most significant risk in bringing new products to market.

With this in mind, we might be able to coin a definition of innovation, which has the effect of reducing market risk, and we could learn more about the opportunity landscape to create successful change hopefully.

All were followers of some prior art, and all these were great successes. In a nutshell, the key to mitigating market risk is to discover a product or service that everyone is buying and change it in some way to add value.