Though there are several examples of high-profile tech companies taking advantage of being the second mover – Apple and Uber come to mind right away – I believe Adidas will benefit from being a first mover here. Being a second mover benefits companies whose target markets are nascent or not clearly defined, or else are introducing a technology that customers are not yet familiar with. Neither of these circumstances exist here. Additive manufacturing does not change the product for the customer in any discernible way (except for the potential benefits of lower price in the long-term and better custom options). As a result, I believe Adidas will be well-served being the first mover.
In response to your question: I’m very skeptical that you can compel suppliers to share ideas with Dell ahead of competitors unless there are clear monetary incentives – either because Dell owns the leverage against its suppliers relative to its competitors or because Dell is offering favorable payment terms. Knowing how Dell manages its suppliers, I’m relatively skeptical that they will be willing to offer discounts or extended payment periods. As a result, I think Dell would have to make some sort of commitment to its suppliers (i.e., a willingness to use a certain supplier for a long period of time) in order to get suppliers on board with open innovation.
You recommend that the Affectiva focus on US manufacturers in the short-term, but I wonder if the company should consider a couple of other avenues. First, it could focus on state or federal governments to try to make this type of intelligence standard practice in cars by law. The benefits are obvious – the technology could mitigate one of the leading causes of non-natural deaths in the world. Second, Europe could make more sense as a target market. It is more receptive to legislation / regulation in general, and as you noted in your post, the technology is poised to become “standard practice” in Europe.
While I believe that humans will colonize space at some point in our lifetime, I don’t believe that we’re very close to that point yet. As a result, it would be unwise for Contour – from both an economic and human perspective – to devote many, if any, resources to projects relating to space. As it stands, billions of people are either experiencing homelessness or are living in slums. The imperative is to address this need immediately. If the company is unwilling to do so on its own terms, I would hope and expect the government to provide monetary incentives for Contour to do so.
I tend to agree with your solutions towards the end of the post. While the influx of ideas from digital media may result in chaos, it still generates faster creative content that Lego’s current open innovation process. As a result, I believe that Lego needs to open up its current process to invite more ideas. There’s a chance, though, that Lego can keep its current control over the innovation process but change the financial structure (i.e., higher royalties or a longer payout). Lego could also create a higher tier of public creators whose ideas they tend to like most, and solicit more ideas from that group. While everything may be awesome for Lego now, it needs to be careful about how it manages its future.
As a huge Red Sox fan, it was great to get a behind-the-scenes look at how we pulled off such a remarkable season! To address your first question: it’s important to recognize two pieces of information. First, there tend to be two segments of teams – small market and big market teams. The Red Sox, to your point, certainly fit in the latter camp… but they’re not alone. In their road to the World Series, the Red Sox beat two of the biggest names in baseball in the Yankees (7th in payroll) and Dodgers (3rd in payroll). So the Red Sox approach appears to work against teams that have the same financial resources that they do. Second, the Red Sox also had a remarkable season by any standard, finishing the regular season with 8 more wins than the next-best team. As a result, it appears that its new approach to data is working.