Open Innovation Platforms: MindSumo in Context

Forrester recently published a report about the use of Innovation Management tools. This report surveyed 2,000 decision makers on their use of 15 innovation software providers (listed below). One of the most insightful questions asked these individuals why they engaged in an innovation project in the past two years.

As shown in the chart below, the number one project objective was an improvement in customer experience. This comes as no surprise, since customer experience and satisfaction drive long-term revenue and growth for a business.

15 Vendors: Brightidea, CogniStreamer, Hype Innovation, IdeaScale, Imaginatik, inno360, InnoCentive, innosabi, InnovationCast, Kindling, KPMG Innovation Factory, Nosco, Planbox, Qmarkets, and Spigit

Key Drivers of Business Transformation

What did come as a surprise, however, was that only one of the 15 vendors (InnoCentive) boasts a large, active community of consumers that can be tapped for open-innovation.

Wouldn’t it be paramount to have immediate access to consumers if you are hoping to improve their experience?

Design Thinking & Open-Innovation

In the past ten years, “Design Thinking” has gotten a lot of attention. Popularized by the pioneering design firm IDEO and the neighboring design program at Stanford University (, this approach to product development focuses on developing empathy for the consumer, understanding their needs, and designing solutions iteratively.

Design Thinking


The Design Thinking process is strongly linked to the practice of open-innovation. Both engage external parties with the goal of sourcing insights that can guide internal strategies and drive better outcomes for the end user.

In 2014 Forbes published an article about the impact of Design Thinking on business strategy. Author Lawton Ursrey writes, “Different functional groups tend to generate ideas that serve their group’s needs more than the customer’s. Their decisions are founded on good intentions, but can sometimes fail horribly for the customer when made in functional isolation. Fragmented functions equal fragmented decisions and the customer feels the pain of these long before anyone internally does.”

MindSumo vs. Other Open Innovation Platforms

MindSumo is an open-innovation platform with both a large community (300,000 members) and powerful software to source and organize ideas. We have seen that businesses are far more effective at innovating when human needs and preferences are at the center of the innovation process. For this reason, our team has put an equal amount of effort into building our cloud-based platform and growing our community of Millennials.

Rather than focus on the largest providers of innovation software, like in Forrester’s study, we chose to compare MindSumo to the largest providers of open innovation communities (by size). According to research by, the average size of a community comprises 20,000 members who can potentially participate in a client’s project.

Innovation Software Providers

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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

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