I have been working on my business model and just how much control I want to have vs. a completely open model. HBS has a great article this month on the topic called “Which Kind of Collaboration Is Right for You?” (sorry, i think you need a subscription to read the entire article online) that has been a big help.
The article discusses four basic modes for collaboration innovation: Elite circle, Innovation mall, Innovation community, consortium. I had been leaning towards a completely open network, but here some the quotes I am fixated on,
“With open participation, you don’t need to know your contributors. Indeed, the fact that you don’t know them can be particularly valuable; interesting innovative solutions can come from people or organizations you might never have imagined had something to contribute.”
“Open modes, however, have their disadvantages. Notably, they’re not as effective as closed approaches in identifying and attracting the best players. That’s because as the number of participants increases, the likelihood that a participant’s solution will be selected (especially for an ambiguous problem) decreases.”
I wouldn’t say this article has helped me decide which way to go but it has helped put together a list of pros and cons of the various options.