Last week, DB Mobility, a group from Germany visited the Haas School of Business. The DB Mobility team arrived with curiosity and interest to learn more about Open Innovation. DB mobility is one of the leading passengers and logistics company based out of Germany and operates in over 130 countries world wide. Members of DB mobility came to Haas looking for answers and insight on how to better improve their current business model.
Professor Solomon Darwin gave a powerful presentation on Open Innovation. He emphasized the need for companies to build their business models by leveraging Open Innovation. Darwin then introduced Disruptive Innovation –– “a disruptive business model can bring about change and cause a paradigm shift to even the most successful businesses”- Solomon Darwin. Disruptive Innovation can occur when companies go from a Business-to-Business (B2B) model to a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) business model or vice-versa. Every company has new products that can sell at a higher price, but Disruptive Innovation suggests selling at an affordable price to make products more accessible. Services must be the foundation before building any product, because products without service are useless. Innovation that is disruptive gives access to a new population of consumers at the bottom of the market, usually for products or services that were once only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill.
With the idea of Disruptive Innovation in mind, Darwin highlighted the difference between strategy and innovation. It’s about making projections for the future and learning how to reach the newer generation
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Innovation and disruption come from unknown sources. Innovation is breaking the constraints and establishing new frontiers to boldly go where no man has gone before. Disruptive Innovation and Open Innovation establish new markets and new frontiers. Open Innovation allows businesses to generate ideas and thus leverage current technology trends to do things better; Open Innovation shares ideas but protects its core. Innovation comes from cross-disciplines and acquires ideas from the outside in—it is an in-flow of knowledge as companies learn to tap into the global brain; it embraces other ideas as good and is willing to work with other agencies. In essence, Open Innovation helps companies partner with the right people for the right products.
DB Mobility asks: Who are the right partners for Open Innovation and how can we find them? The DB Mobility team left with a new arsenal and enthusiasm to see change in their current business model. Now, DB mobility aims to work from a Business- to-Consumer model as they apply Open Innovation concepts and learn to disrupt the digital market. Perhaps the future of DB mobility will shift as they create new products and establish a new market for people that are not yet their customers.