The lessons presented in this chapter are devoid of statistics and methodology; they are not derived from even one survey, but rather are the notions, insights, and lessons learned by a new product development (NPD) company that has spent 25 years of ideating, engineering, designing, and commercializing products for and with some of the largest organizations in the world. There are no checklists, not an algorithm to be found, nor a formula, even the case studies are few; everything discussed should be considered heuristic in nature and is the result of the painful lessons learned from actually doing new product development and innovation both for big corporations and for our own portfolio.
This chapter will provide insight for engaging small companies for your Open Innovation (OI) initiatives. It is essentially a thought guide for building a partnership between you, “the company,” and the small company (“the vendor”). While dealing with small companies and utilizing outside resources is hardly a new idea, the ever devolving infrastructure of larger entities has made it harder and harder for “vendors” to work with “the company.” First, however, we must address why this is so.
One can be fairly certain that by this date, most individuals working within corporate walls will have realized that attempts to somehow drag ...