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June 26, 2023
John Rizvi, Esq.

Inventors: Approaching a Company with an Open Innovation Program | Warren Tuttle

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But tell me a little bit about what you think and inventors should know about approaching a company that has an open innovation program.

Well, number one, thanks for having me. And Happy Labor Day weekend, everybody. Yeah, you said it well. It amazes me, since I'm sort of professionally in this arena, how many companies are close-minded and don't look outside their four walls for new ideas. And that became apparent to me. We can talk about it a little bit later, but I'm in a new partnership called Market Blast, where we're trying to bring the open innovation platform to more companies. And I walked the recent hardware and housewares trade shows talking to company after company. And, you know, the standard reaction was “Inventors, they drive me crazy, I don't want to deal with them. We don't know how to deal with them. It's nothing but trouble,” and so forth. And I found that both upsetting personally, because I feel differently, but also an opportunity to teach and train people how to do things properly. So, the companies that have established open innovation programs, they’re probably fewer and farther between that have formal programs. A lot of companies have less formal programs where maybe they'll put someone from marketing or sales in charge of it, or maybe it'll be the owner of the company or president of the company. It's not quite the platform or program, that's sort of what I do. But they're all good, at least they have a desire, let's call it an intellectual curiosity, in knowing what's going on outside of the company. And that's a certain type of person that understands that and has to keep abreast of everything. You know, the flip side of that is people are just tunnel vision, and only doing their own thing. I think that companies that don't practice open innovation are in that tunnel vision. But they also are worried that there might be battles and infringement issues and other things down the road. And they want to steer wide and clear of that. So it's an interesting prism, you know, that goes from one end to the other. But what I would say to companies and what I'm trying to offer out—and because at Market Blast, we now have 100 companies signed up on our platform, we're growing it out—is it can be done. It requires some discipline, it requires company philosophically coming to agreement on how to do it. A company really following the leadership, usually of the head of the company, or heads of the company, that have this sort of visionary view of things and see the benefit of it because it's a lot of work. There's a lot of failure associated with it, and you really have to be committed to it. So, that's an opening answer we could go on for the next three days.

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