Companies Using the Open Innovation Platform Business Model are Winning

So, what is the true meaning of an open innovation platform business model? Nah, today, we’ll kick corporate buzzwords to the curb and provide concrete examples of open innovation, platform technology, and exactly which companies are winning.

One of the main ideas behind open innovation is that everyone should be able to participate. So in the guide below, we’ve laid all our trade secrets bare. Does anyone else feel a breeze?

What Is an Open Innovation Company?

The traditional innovation model is centralized. In other words, those in leadership positions make the decisions while non-executive employees are pretty much entirely left out of the conversation. When problems arise, those same leaders will be the ones to identify solutions. There is one glaring problem with this type of innovation—it doesn’t work. In recent years, more and more companies have begun to realize the value of decentralizing innovation. 

Who Participates in Open Innovation?

Knowledge doesn’t exist exclusively in the higher-up positions of an organization. In fact, managers and shareholders can be less knowledgeable than those in customer-facing roles when it comes to daily business operations. An open innovation company is a business that makes its innovation process accessible, participatory, and collaborative to one or more of the following categories:

  • Consumers - Customer-centric innovation is a value-driven approach that nearly every industry utilizes, with or without knowing it. If you’re unfamiliar with the customer-centric methodology, check out our previous blog post: The Customer-Centric Innovation Method for Profitable Growth.  
  • Employees - Each employee at your company brings a unique perspective to the table. For example, customer service agents will have specialized knowledge regarding consumer demands while warehouse workers have more informed opinions about inventory logistics. As an innovation manager, it’s your job to collect insight from the distributed knowledge of these employees. Then, you’ll use your leadership and management skills to turn that feedback into something actionable.
  • Academia -  Academic-industry collaboration is a competitive strategy that many enterprise-level businesses embrace. The open innovation platform business model provides better opportunities for companies to involve academia in their market research, brand awareness, and networking efforts.

Examples of Winning Companies Using the Open Innovation Platform Business Model

The worst type of endorsement is the peer pressure kind. You know, the “everybody’s doing it, so why aren’t you?” type beat. Because, if all our friends jumped off a bridge, we wouldn’t do it too! Unless all those friends were super cool and successful and stuck the landing every time. Sorry, mom, context is important. This is the part of the article where we give you a couple of examples of successful companies that utilize the open innovation platform business model:

  • Lego - Lego explores product ideas from consumers through Lego Ideas, a crowdsourcing platform. This open innovation platform allows Lego fans to submit new ideas or support existing suggestions for Lego kits. 
  • Samsung - Samsung NEXT is an innovation initiative that identifies and invests in opportunities to enhance its current technology. For example, the Ventures division of Samsung NEXT focuses on collaboration with early-stage start-up companies within the industry. 

What Is an Open Innovation Platform?

The innovation pipeline is already a complex and nonlinear process. Opening its intricacies up for everyone to participate in sounds like an organizational nightmare. Well, here’s where the “platform” in the “open innovation platform business model” comes into play. An open innovation platform is a means of organizing projects, communicating with project members, gathering feedback, and tracking performance indicators. It’s essentially a hub for innovation project coordination. Companies may opt to design their own (although not recommended) or partner with innovation management services for support.


How Does an Open Innovation Platform Work?

The way your open innovation platform works will depend on the innovation management solution you choose to partner with. Some innovation management services provide the technology alone, while others offer more comprehensive support to the open innovation platform business model as a whole. We can’t speak for others, but we can speak from experience. Below, we’ve broken down rready’s approach to the open innovation platform business model—from platform to strategy.


Our digital platform is a software as a service (SaaS) that lives on the cloud. You don’t need any additional hardware to set it up because it’s self-contained and accessible from any device (think smartphone or laptop, not air fryer or Alexa.) This type of software solves one of the most significant stumbling blocks for open innovation platforms—scalability. Business growth is a desirable and inevitable side effect of your innovation program. We designed our platform with this in mind, making it entirely cloud-based so that it can grow with your company instead of standing in the way. Here are three critical components of any innovation platform:

  1. Communication - Collaboration is the key to decentralizing innovation. An open innovation platform should provide ample space for project members to provide feedback and share their insights easily. 
  2. Organization - Tracking the timeline of your innovation projects doesn’t have to be a headache. In addition to organizing thoughts and action items, an open innovation platform should make the innovation process transparent. Visible progress also motivates other team members to participate. 
  3. Analytics - Although it’s a less direct benefit, analytical capabilities are essential to consider for companies using the open innovation platform business model. Measuring the progress of each project is important, but so is analyzing the bigger picture. Are there any bottlenecks in your innovation processes? How many ideas make it through the initial stages? Your innovation platform should be able to identify recognizable patterns in your innovation pipeline to encourage improvements. 


If your organization is in the early or even pre-innovation initiative stages, you may have started to sweat when we brought up your innovation process. The truth is, companies that haven’t yet launched their innovation plan are still excellent candidates for the open innovation platform business model. They’re just better off with a far-reaching innovation management solution like the KICKBOX. In addition to the open innovation platform software, the KICKBOX bridges the gap between online and offline engagement with a physical toolbox. 

The toolbox has two essential functions: gamification and increased participation through proven methodologies. Many enterprise-level businesses struggle with employee engagement, a prerequisite for practical innovation. The KICKBOX addresses this cultural stumbling block by providing each organization member with the incentive to participate, regardless of technological dexterity. 


Inside the KICKBOX, employees will find a strategic guide to idea implementation. Co-created by over 100 corporate innovation experts, the KICKBOOK is used today in enterprises worldwide—like Adobe, Swisscom, and Siemens Energy. 


Gamification makes the innovation process fun by applying game mechanics to non-game situations. Basking in the glow of a job well done doesn’t quite cut it for everyone, so we upped the stakes with a company-tailored rewards system.


Wouldn't it be great if your open innovation platform came complete with a community of users in like-minded, innovation-centric companies? We thought so too, so we implemented the innovation ecosystem to accompany our open innovation platform. In an increasingly digital world, networking and collaboration look different. It's fast-paced, streamlined, and whether or not your company can keep up determines your competitive edge. A built-in community opens the door to more meaningful industry collaboration. It gives you an inside look at the companies currently using the open innovation business platform model to win.


Implementing the Open Innovation Platform Business Model with rready

rready has been helping companies of all sizes motivate their employees and spark the fires of innovation. To learn more about what the open innovation platform model can do for your company, Contact Us or schedule a demo below if you're rready to hit the ground running.
Get started today