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Social Product Innovation > Facebook

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What I learned this week … from a video by Kalypso called Social Product Innovation: It’s More than Facebook further validates that social computing is making a big impact on product development. As one participant from Boeing said emphatically in a discussion I led at COFES a while back, “We are not going to design a plane on Facebook!” I agreed then and still agree now. But the video makes some strong statements based on a research study published by Kalypso that shows that social media, web 2.0, and enterprise 2.0 technologies are being adopted in product innovation and making a positive impact. And Facebook may play a role after all…The Research

Strap on your seatbelt and launch the video. It is a fast-paced ride that highlights a lot of great points about social product innovation. I will try to capture a few of them here, but the video (and the underlying paper) are worth a look. Note, you can download the paper from the Kalypso “SPIKE” site but you have to scroll down a bit below the video to find it and provide your contact details.

Kalypso defines social product innovation in two ways in the video:

  • As one of their clients defines it: “open innovation combined with the Internet
  • Their definition: Social Media + Product Development = Social Product Innovation

I think the Kalypso definition is a bit broader and more to the point. The benefits of social computing in product development span from the use of innovation portals all the way to engineering collaboration, or Collaboration 2.0 as I have called it. The video commentary defines two main ways that companies are using social product innovation:

  1. Web 2.0 – Public networks including things like blogs, wikis, and social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and twitter
  2. Enterprise 2.0 – Secure networks that can also be shared with partners / suppliers – communities of practice -knowledge sharing, collective problem solving; using technologies like SharePoint, videoconferencing, instant messaging, and electronic white boards

The video also shares some great statistics from the report, and mentions some of the companies that are leading the way in the use of social product innovation, including SPIKE award winner Kimberly-Clark who I interviewed here.

Implications for Manufacturers

There is a movement underway to explore the use of social computing in product innovation. The research indicates that over 70% of companies are using social media in product innovation or planning to do so. That is a significant number of companies. Perhaps more importantly, they are reporting benefits including more product ideas, better product ideas, faster time to market, reduced product development cost, and more. Most companies have started small, but they are also planning to do more next year. This is really something that shouldn’t be ignored.

So just for fun, let’s get back to Facebook. I have made some bold claims that Facebook is not the right platform for social computing in product development, including Why Does Facebook Fail for Product Development?. In my report Going Social with Product Development,I go into more detail on why I think the concepts behind Facebook are winners in product innovation, product development, engineering, and product lifecycle management (PLM). But what about Facebook itself? Well, I have to admit that corporate sites in Facebook are being used for open innovation. It is only one part of the puzzle, but it can play a role – particularly in consumer-oriented companies. It still fails for the majority of the back-end process where an understanding of product development processes and integration to product information are critical. But I guess I am softening up a little on the front end. Let’s face it, there is no “one tool” that is going to meet everyone’s needs from open innovation to product development and design collaboration and then back out to product launch.

So I was happy to share some evidence on the adoption of social product innovation from Kalypso, I hope you found it interesting. I have asked whether or not 2011 is the year social computing will explode in PLM, so this is a big area of interest for me. The early indications are positive for 2011, we will have to see what happens. Let us know what you think about it, or what you are doing about it.

SPEAK YOUR MIND

  1. Jim, thank you for sharing the Kalypso information.

    I just discussed the definition of Social Product Development under http://whyblogwith44.blogspot.com/2011/01/social-product-development-defined.html

    I completely agree with your point that the concepts behind Facebook are useful for PLM. In the post mentioned above, I referenced a nice book “Web 2.0 Architectures” that describes these concepts as patterns, i.e. in a less technical way. Facebook is adding new features / modules every few weeks, so it’s hard to treat it as one application.

    Regarding the explosion of social computing in PLM in 2011, I think that enterprise social computing (ESS) will be a big winner. We still have to figure out how much of ESS is specific to PLM and how much is just basic IT infrastructure for a state-of-the-art company.

    Best regards, Jens

    • Jens,
      Thanks for your comment and the link to your post. You provide a lot of good information in one place. I look forward to reading more about your views on social product development. I commented on your post as well.

      The big question will be whether or not generalized social computing technologies will provide value as compared to purpose-built social product development / social innovation solutions. I think that the integration of the capabilities with the context of the product is non-trivial, and that standalone solutions will fall short. They may play a role in the infrastructure, of course, but the end applications will be tailored to product innovation and product development (in my opinion). To me, this is like workflow when it came onto the scene however many years ago. There were lots of standalone workflow engines (and companies). Now, it is a commodity and it is built into most enterprise applications. I think social computing will be the same – with the exception of public sites that have their own communities that can be tapped into.

      Good discussion, thank you.

  2. Jim, thank you for sharing the Kalypso information.nnI just discussed the definition of Social Product Development under http://whyblogwith44.blogspot.com/2011/01/social-product-development-defined.htmlnnI completely agree with your point that the concepts behind Facebook are useful for PLM. In the post mentioned above, I referenced a nice book “Web 2.0 Architectures” that describes these concepts as patterns, i.e. in a less technical way. Facebook is adding new features / modules every few weeks, so it’s hard to treat it as one application. nnRegarding the explosion of social computing in PLM in 2011, I think that enterprise social computing (ESS) will be a big winner. We still have to figure out how much of ESS is specific to PLM and how much is just basic IT infrastructure for a state-of-the-art company. nnBest regards, Jens

    • Jens,nThanks for your comment and the link to your post. You provide a lot of good information in one place. I look forward to reading more about your views on social product development. I commented on your post as well. nnThe big question will be whether or not generalized social computing technologies will provide value as compared to purpose-built social product development / social innovation solutions. I think that the integration of the capabilities with the context of the product is non-trivial, and that standalone solutions will fall short. They may play a role in the infrastructure, of course, but the end applications will be tailored to product innovation and product development (in my opinion). To me, this is like workflow when it came onto the scene however many years ago. There were lots of standalone workflow engines (and companies). Now, it is a commodity and it is built into most enterprise applications. I think social computing will be the same – with the exception of public sites that have their own communities that can be tapped into.nnGood discussion, thank you.

  3. Jim, thanks for summarizes the research. I’m curious about the 70% of companies using or planning to use social in product innovation. Would like to see the breakout. Is it 10% using and 60% planning to or the other way around? Would really like to see the stats backed up by one or two real use cases in product innovation beyond the stories we’ve all seen. Also would like to know if they are using social technologies independent of their PLM tools or integrated?

    Will ping Kalypso too but thought maybe you could shed a little more light.

    • Dora,
      Nice to hear from you as always. There is a chart in the report with the breakout, there is a lot of rich detail. Here is a quick view into it:
      Using 12 months: 22%
      Planned in next 12 months: 9%
      Planned after 12 months: 2%
      Total: 70%

      So the breakdown is 59% using it and 11% planning. Sounds high, right? But when you look at what percentage of their products they have used it on, they are just dipping their toes in the water. So they have used it, but many of them are in experimentation mode.

      I don’t believe the study asked whether it was integrated with PLM tools, but I would be surprised if it was in many cases at all. A lot of it seems to be happening in a way that is disconnected both in processes and tools from the current business.

      As for case studies, the report shares some – definitely worth a read.

      Best,
      Jim

      • Hey Jim, just ran across Peter Bilello’s article on The Social Network and Product Development I thought you’d be interested in if you haven’t seen it: (http://www.cimdata.com/newsletter/2011/4/05/04.05.01.htm).

        Interesting CIMdata’s poll numbers on how much companies are using social in development. A little different view than Kalypso’s:
        “9% indicated they use these solutions a great deal,
        25% indicated some use,
        and 24% very limited use.”

        Again, I’d like to see more sharing of use cases so we can put these numbers in a bit more context.

        Dora

        • Dora,
          Thanks for pointing to Peter’s article, I am planning to take a look at it. On first glance, I am not sure the numbers are that different.

          The CIMdata numbers are 9% + 25% + 24% = 58% using it. I would not count “very limited use” as no use (although I haven’t seen the way they constructed the question). Of the companies using social techniques in the Kalypso study, many were using it for only a fraction of their products. I would call that “very limited use.” The question, then, is how do you interpret the result. I see that as a positive indicator, because if you asked a few years ago I would expect to see “no use” (at least I assume that was an answer choice?). The key is that usage is low in terms of volume, but lots of companies are looking at it.

          The more important point is that all of the companies said they plan to increase next year.

          After I get an opportunity to look at Peter’s article I will try to comment again to see where the data agrees and disagrees, and where our interpretations of the data may agree or disagree. Thanks again for pointing me to his research, it’s always a good idea to get multiple views.

  4. Jim, thanks for summarizing the research. I’m curious about the 70% of companies using or planning to use social in product innovation. Would like to see the breakout. Is it 10% using and 60% planning to or the other way around? Would really like to see the stats backed up by one or two real use cases in product innovation beyond the stories we’ve all seen. Also would like to know if they are using social technologies independent of their PLM tools or integrated? Will ping Kalypso too but thought maybe you could shed a little more light.

    • Dora,nNice to hear from you as always. There is a chart in the report with the breakout, there is a lot of rich detail. Here is a quick view into it:nUsing 12 months: 22%nPlanned in next 12 months: 9%nPlanned after 12 months: 2%nTotal: 70%nnSo the breakdown is 59% using it and 11% planning. Sounds high, right? But when you look at what percentage of their products they have used it on, they are just dipping their toes in the water. So they have used it, but many of them are in experimentation mode.nnI don’t believe the study asked whether it was integrated with PLM tools, but I would be surprised if it was in many cases at all. A lot of it seems to be happening in a way that is disconnected both in processes and tools from the current business. nnAs for case studies, the report shares some – definitely worth a read.nnBest,nJimnn

      • Hey Jim, just ran across Peter Bilello’s article on The Social Network and Product Development I thought you’d be interested in if you haven’t seen it: (http://www.cimdata.com/newsletter/2011/4/05/04.05.01.htm). nnInteresting CIMdata’s poll numbers on how much companies are using social in development. A little different view than Kalypso’s:n”9% indicated they use these solutions a great deal, n25% indicated some use, nand 24% very limited use.”nnAgain, I’d like to see more sharing of use cases so we can put these numbers in a bit more context.nnDora

        • Dora,nThanks for pointing to Peter’s article, I am planning to take a look at it. On first glance, I am not sure the numbers are that different.nnThe CIMdata numbers are 9% + 25% + 24% = 58% using it. I would not count “very limited use” as no use (although I haven’t seen the way they constructed the question). Of the companies using social techniques in the Kalypso study, many were using it for only a fraction of their products. I would call that “very limited use.” The question, then, is how do you interpret the result. I see that as a positive indicator, because if you asked a few years ago I would expect to see “no use” (at least I assume that was an answer choice?). The key is that usage is low in terms of volume, but lots of companies are looking at it. nnThe more important point is that all of the companies said they plan to increase next year. nnAfter I get an opportunity to look at Peter’s article I will try to comment again to see where the data agrees and disagrees, and where our interpretations of the data may agree or disagree. Thanks again for pointing me to his research, it’s always a good idea to get multiple views.

  5. Hi JimnnI am keen to have your interview for Younomy.com. I can send you the theme if you can send your email ID to me at sankar@younomy.com. I am unable to find your email ID in this site. Sorry for the inconvenience. nnRegardsnSankar

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