During a recent presentation in the Open and User Innovation course, some of my friends presented the topic of User Behavior and Free Innovation wherein they discussed ‘What motivates free innovators ?’. Combining my learning from the class and my experience as a Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) contributor, in this blog post I reflect on what motivates software developers to contribute their time and effort to building free software products.

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Intrinsic Motivation –

In general, Intrinsic motivation refers to the inherent motivations of doing a task. It’s possible that there are no other outcomes that motivate the ‘free innovator’ other than the satisfaction of being able to complete a task and having fun while doing it.

It can be further divided into the following two categories:

  • Enjoyment Based – Much of open source software contribution is motivated by the satisfaction of being able to ‘fix’ a certain bug with a software and being challenged while doing it. A task that is within the skillset of a programmer but also challenges their creativity provides the most engaging experience.
  • Community/Obligation Based – Larger F/OSS projects have a very strong sense of bonding and community. It’s very common to see the most experienced contributors of a project helping an absolute beginner in getting started with code contributions.

Extrinsic Motivation – 

Extrinsic motivation refers to the external aspirations of a developer other than the aforementioned intrinsic motivations. For example, the immediate need of a bug fix motivates some to contribute to the projects they use. I personally, have fixed bugs in an open source software because I needed to use it in my project.

In addition, developers might have long term motivations such as learning how to code better. Most F/OSS code contributions are reviewed by experienced programmers which helps novice programmers in improving their skills. F/OSS contributions are also a great way to build a strong network in the programming community which could lead to better job opportunities and career advancement in the long run.

From my personal experience of having interacted with a number of F/OSS contributors over the past few years, it’s a mix of these extrinsic and intrinsic motivations that makes F/OSS a very successful Open Innovation model.

A more thorough analysis of this topic backed by data is available here. I would encourage everyone remotely interested in Open and User innovation to go through the article. It explains very clearly the motivations of ‘free innovators’ and the learning can easily be carried over to many more areas in addition to F/OSS.

— Shivam Verma

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WANTED

Source: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WantedPoster


During one of the lectures of Open and User Innovation, a group of students gave a presentation about competition. The competition here were competitions held by firms in order to find an innovative solution to a problem. I always thought these competitions were purely beneficial to the firm and were not something that had to put that much effort into. During the presentation I found out I was very wrong.

Holding a competition requires a firm to take many measures into account and several sorts of costs need to be incurred. Examples of costs that need to be incurred are: the cost of releasing data, the cost of the resources that need to be provided to the contestants, the cost of testing the hundreds of solutions provided by the participants, the risk of rivals gaining an advantage based on the information you share with the participants and costs incurred by controlling the entire competition.

In order to clarify just how much effort goes into hosting a competition, our teacher Serdar Temiz gave an interesting example that I wanted to share here. This was based on an example the presenting group of students gave during their presentation. The example he gave was a sort of competition through crowdsourcing. This form of crowdsourcing was used a long time ago. The competition I am talking about here takes place in the Wild Wild West, and the competition is the search for bad guys through WANTED posters. In this case, the sheriff would ask the crowd to find a person, rendering it a form of crowdsourcing. Since a reward is offered to the person who first finds them, it can also be considered a competition. The following factors were named for the sheriff to take into account when holding this competition:

  • Price setting: is the offered reward high enough in the eyes of the people to participate in the search?
  • Price justification: is the offered reward accurate for the crimes this person committed? Do you charge the same for someone who robbed a bank as for someone who robbed a grocery store?
  • Awareness: the sheriff needs to find a way to spread the word about the competition, for example, the posters, then these need to be hung up in the correct places.
  • Boundary: how far does the sheriff need to put up the posters? What regions could the bad guy be in and what is too far
  • Registration: there need to be people answering the phone about the enquiries made by people stating they found the bad guy.
  • Analysis: the sheriff needs to consider whether he has the right systems to analyse all the enquiries. He cannot simply send his men to wherever a call comes from, then there will be no resources left.
  • Description: how specific does the sheriff need to be in the description? If he simply offers 1000 dollars for a thief, then people will bring by their neighbour’s kid who once stole an egg from them and demand they get the reward.
  • Information leakage: what if they are too specific? And a neighbouring county sheriff wants to catch this bad guy themselves in order to get a good reputation. But if you give too little information, the people might not be able to identify the bad guy.

For me this example was a nice, simple way to discuss the problem. I had never thought about a competition in this way, nor did I realise that there were so many factors to consider when hosting one. It really clarified the factors that need to be taken into account, and I hope it can do the same for other people reading this!

//Lynn Reichenfeld

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Last week, my team and I presented an interesting topic for #me1033 at KTH. The topic was about tightening the loop between the free innovation paradigm and the producer innovation paradigm.

An important part of this presentation was the use of crowdsourcing to get a grip on the free labor of the household sector innovators. A clear defenition of crowdsourcing is:

“the act of outsourcing a task to a ‘crowd’, rather than to a designated ‘agent’… in the form of an open call” – (Afuah and Tucci 2012, 355; Howe 2006).

It is about reaching individuals in a crowd to ask them for their time and resources to contribute to your project.

However, many of you might think that crowdsourcing is a thing of the present. And it is true that nowadays with the internet crowdsourcing has become far more easy and a much wider public could be reached. Crowdfunding and Kickstarter are important platforms nowadays to get to the crowd and ask for help. It is an easy way to get your idea out, get feedback on it, create a community around it and hopefully get funded so that you can start your new venture.

But actually crowdsourcing has been a thing of all times. Serdar gave me a great example about this. I do not remember his exact words, but it was something in this sense: ” If the people in a village wanted to have a trainrail passing through it, they would gather people from the village and build this rail together. As this was their mutual interest where they could all add something and benefit from it, they would do this for free.”

So what I want you to take away from this is that the topics we discuss in this course might seem all quite new and from the last years, but that we are often actually dealing with topics that have existed over a long time, we are just using them in different ways nowadays.

 

//Alessia

 

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Bildschirmfoto 2017-11-17 um 09.01.58

I would like to share my first video guest lecture at KTH from Electrolux about their perspective of open innovation. Let’s extend and share our knowledge about this phenomenon to promote creation and improvement.

Electrolux is a leading global appliance company from Sweden since 1919, which is present in more than 150 markets, including the brands AEG, Anova, Frigidaire, Westinghouse and Zanussi. They sell more than 60 million household and professional products and is the only appliance manufacturer in the world to offer solutions for both.

The Open Innovation Strategy according to Beatrice Maestri is to create new value, new products, new services and new experiences for customers. They define innovation as new business opportunities and a new way to interact and work with each other. In short: A new way to do business. Therefore, a important point is the exchange between internal and external networks but with the main focus on people.

Open Innovation provides new technologies, new ideas, additional competencies and new and other markets. Due to fast innovation processes and the speed behind new trends, it is a common need to outsource. As Beatrice Maestri mentioned: “It is not possible to be an expert of everything”.

Access to vital information for decision making, flexibility of skills and influencing innovation in an ecosystem are benefits of open innovation for Electrolux. To capture this benefits, they defined roles and responsibilities to deal with open innovation. A team of 5 people is working full time on open innovation to capture new innovative business solutions to create new value for their customers.

According to their vision: Unlock universe’ potential.

A key challenge is therefore for the open innovation team to move beyond the trusted network and to find brokers. Brokers are the intermediate connection of the company and innovators outside. According to Beatrice Maestri, they cluster Broker in “DNA”, for example industrial, academic, media, etc., to match and rank brokers. At first they focus on a balanced portfolio of brokers, then they launch – create perfect match between needs and brokers, afterwards they scout, screen, OIB, Brokers Activity and at the end is the management of brokers.

It was a nice experience to see what is possible nowadays, as i already mentioned that it was my first video guest lecture. The whole presentation was well structured and  gave a good impression of Electrolux’s open innovation strategies and how important it is to treat and involve open innovation. Thank you again Beatrice Maestri for sharing this knowledge and strategies with us in the course #ME1033 Open and User Innovation at KTH!

References: http://www.electroluxgroup.com/en/electrolux-in-brief-492/

 

 

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I would like to share my experience of being part of the Stockholm biohacking community. Last summer I implanted an 880 byte 13.56 MHz NFC chip in my left hand. It was nothing planned but happened one afternoon when I attended a biohacking event at Epicenter, an innovative environment and flexible office space for startups, and listened to Hannes Sjöblad talking about microchips and I felt “Hey, why not?”. 30 minutes later I had a chip under my skin, and just like that, I became a cyborg.

The biohacking community in Stockholm is fairly strong, compared to other countries where there seems to be a generally bigger skepticism towards this kind of human-technology interaction. With Hannes Sjöblad (Epicenter) as front person, there are seminars and meetups dedicated to biohacking. Being an early adopter of experimentation with emerging technology, Hannes calls himself a biohacker activist.

So, what can the microchip implant be used for? I am able to use it whenever there is a NFC card reader, meaning an entrance where one’s card doesn’t have to be swiped but just blipped. I can also use it as tiny storage, for example keeping my business card or Linkedin-link (even funny videos or other unnecessary stuff). SJ (Swedish train company) also support the chip technology for tickets, as well as several gyms and airlines. In the future, the chip will hopefully substitute both wallet and keys. But to be honest, I got it out of curiosity and just for fun, the small scar reminds me not to be afraid of trying new things and always keeping my passion for tech and innovations. Also, it’s a great ice breaker!

Right after I had the chip implanted. Now there is just a tiny scar. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-09 at 08.48.33

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innovation workshop

 

On the 31st of October I went together with some other people from my class in EIT Digital to an event held by ICES, The KTH Innovative Centre for Embedded Systems.

This was a day-long workshop focused on how to improve innovation within Cyber-Physical Systems and Industrial IoT domains. There were participants from both companies and academia present.

The workshop started with a short introduction of the agenda of the day. After this introduction, there was a so-called “world café” where the participants were split up into small groups tasked with discussing different topics regarding innovation. Later the groups switched topics with another group. One of the discussed topics that were:

“What are barriers and needs you perceive for CPS innovation”

The general opinion about this topic seemed to be that there was too little cooperation between academia and companies, due to the fact that they mostly have different goals. Academia strives to educate while companies aim at maximising profit. Another opinion that surfaced was that it seemed as if there was a need of establishing an international standard defining exactly what cyber-physical systems means. This due to the fact that different people with different backgrounds had different personal definition of what the term CPS means, which makes it difficult to efficiently innovate within CPS.

After this part of the programme there was a quick break for lunch, later followed by different entities such as EIT Digital, Vinnova, KTH Innovation, THINGS etc. presenting what their organization was doing within the field of Innovation.

I felt it was very interesting to listen to what the different entities presenting during this workshop had to say about innovation, and how they were working with it. Furthermore, it gave me a good overview of how I would do if I had an idea which I would like to make a reality. What I found a bit surprising was that there were so few students there, we were perhaps four or five out of ~30 participants. In my opinion, the future workers, aka the current students, should be more involved.

I found this event through an EIT Digital newsletter. Unfortunately, I did not take any pictures while at the event, however, if you want to read more about the event or if you are interested in future events at ICES, please follow the link below.

http://www.ices.kth.se/events.aspx?pid=&evtKeyId=52dde958747444f9a1b3ab6612b6b604

Happy Innovating 😀

// Leonardo Araneda Freccero

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Me and a couple of other students from the course went to the event Trade & Investment Seminar Business Opportunities in Malaysia located at Sheraton that Serdar invited us to. This visit was a bit different from what I have experienced before. It was quite interesting to see how people from Malaysia and Sweden coming together working to find ways to collaborate. The importance of networking was once again put on display. One guy I sat next to where looking for investments for the company he worked for in the space industry.

Comparing this event with other more startup related events I have experienced, the atmosphere here was a bit more serious. A lot of people wore suits and was there representing their company or country. Nevertheless, all persons I talked to were very friendly.

Malaysia was pictured as a good country to start with to get a foot into the Asian market. The living expenses are much cheaper compared to neighbouring countries such as Singapore. There also exist educated workers that speaks English for a lower price. The country is politically stable, and the GDP is growing. Overall, it was depicted as a good compromise. Compared to the Swedish cold weather right now an escape to Malaysia could also be tempting.

Even if startups where mentioned during the event and is important much focus was put on the bigger companies such as Volvo and SKF. Both Volvo and SKF had representatives in the panel that talked about their businesses and relationship to Malaysia. The representative of Volvo talked for example about how regulations were one of their main problems.

During the lunch I asked a Malaysian representative about startups in Malaysia. He said that they for example help statups by providing mentors for free that can provide experience to the founders; they also help with well-equipped workspaces for subsidized prices at the beginning of a startups life. This he said have produced good results.

Many also recommended that we should come visit Malaysia, even if it only is for tourism, and I guess I will take that into consideration when I plan any future trips to Asia.

Thanks for reading!

Johan Wikström

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Helping and trying a Startup: Plick

Lately, I have seen many ads of startup second hand-apps, especially on the subway so I thought I would give it a try share my experience and hopefully get some extra cash! For over a month ago I downloaded the app Plick from Appstore and created a profile by simple connecting to my Facebook account. I have created ads before on sites the Blocket a for 6 years ago and must say that this was much easier and straightforward!

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My first impression was that it felt very similar to Instagram, you can follow people and people can follow you and the profile layout. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Next step was to upload the pictures of the product I wanted to sell, and I got some useful advice on things to consider when taking a photo. The lightning and background make a big difference and they advise you to also take a closer picture of the product. They also recommend giving a short description, hashtags, size etc.

 

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Hopefully, someone will find my beautiful dress that is up for 200 Kr!

So my conclusion of the app? I really liked the app and idea, a smart, easy and sustainable way to sell and buy clothes. My only concern is that my ad has been up for a while now and no one has shown interest yet. I’m wondering if it might be because there are not enough active users or if my dress is not attractive enough?  

I did some research and got to know that Plick has more than 20 000 active users and there are a lot of competitors on the market like the sites Tradera and Blocket, but also other startups like Shpock (10 milj users in EU and 0,5 milj users in Sweden) and Sellply (backed by H&M). 

To be successful in this market segment I think it is important to have strong market shares and invest in marketing to get the most active users. And in that way, I am helping Plick (and my dress) now by giving it some attention here in the blog!

Using the app is for free now so Plicks revenues are low, but Plicks plan is to earn money in the future by charging a 10 percent fee when a customer uses Plicks embedded payment service to sell a piece of clothing. I however, think that they have to have more influence on the market before taking charges, especially if their competitors are offering this for free otherwise they will just lose users.

So guys create an account and you might found something cheap and beautiful like my dress!

/F

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Hi there!

Since I forgot to put up a blog post of last event I figured I’d put both of the events up in the same post to avoid occupying the a whole page on Intopreneur. The events I attended was the Stockholm Food Movement and IoT Innovation Night. I’ll avoid getting into too much detail since I believe you’ve already read the previous posts and instead I’ll be sharing my own thought about the events.

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Stockholm Food Movement

Stockholm Food Movement, October 18th

As previously mentioned by Johan, this event was about the issues concerning the problems about food in our world. Some starve while others are overweight. There were a couple of presentations like the Gaia team, Matsvinnet among them. I found the event very interesting and informative since most of us know that food is a well discussed issue, but the only ones who’re able to solve this is, in fact, us entrepreneurs with our innovative ideas. The fact that there are so many ideas that you’ve never actually heard of makes me kind of happy and inspired to figure out my own solutions. Although I won’t be approaching the food market, I sure want to solve other problems and deliver my own value propositions.

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IoT Innovation Night

IoT Innovation Night, October 9th

As you might have read from the other students attending the event, this event was all about the Internet of Things. There were multiple companies working in the area who presented themselves and we were also told how to get in touch and the possibilities of getting funded by the European Platforms Initiative, IoT-EPI for short. I personally found this event to be the most fun out of the two I attended as I have a huge passion for the digital development in general and the fact that the event was held at Norrsken House. Ever since Jessica from Norrsken presented Norrsken in our class I’ve wanted to start developing some of my ideas to try to better peoples daily lives.

Both of the events has been really inspiring, with the IoT one topping my list, and I get more and more excited about walking down the entrepreneur road on my own. Maybe one day I’ll manage to get a funding from Norrsken and that you’ll see me presenting on one of these kind of startup events in the future.

Take care!

Dan

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Hi, yesterday I attended the Stockholm food movement event powered by Impact Hub Stockholm. Impact Hub Stockholm is a business incubator, innovation lab and community of social entrepreneurs.

This event focused primarily on how to produce and take care of food in a more sustainable way. Health was also a topic. Some of you guys blogged about testing out Matsmart and Karma, both were mentioned during the event.

Food is an essential part of every human’s life, we need it to survive. However, there are many issues related to food, while some scarcely have food enough to survive others suffers from overeating and risk deceases such as diabetes and cardiovascular dieses. Much food that is produced is wasted for various reasons. Since food is one of the biggest causes to climate change it important to make it more sustainable. A speaker remarked that the way we produce food today is “fucked up”. Another big challenge is the growing population where most people will live in urban areas.  More people will put more stress on our planet and innovation related to food therefore becomes even more important.

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On this event there was five presentations related to food and innovation. In different ways they attempt to solve some of the problems above.

The first presentation was from the team behind Gaia. They talked about their product: the Gaia Grow System™. Their goal is to make it possible to grow vegetables at home easier and more effective. They think that it is good that people living in urban areas can grow their own vegetables and thus get a closer connection to the way food is produced.

The product uses hydroponic technology, no soil is used, and the system is self-watering using nutritious water. It reduces the amount of water used to grow plants and should also produce results quicker since the plants gets the right about of nutrition. The people behind the produced talked about how they were currently looking for investments. Right now, they said they had pre-orders for about 3 million SEK.

Next up was Jenny Rydebrink, one of the co-founder of the app Garnenize . The app was a result of the founder’s own experience of growing plants and taking care of her garden. She found the problem that it was often difficult to keep track of what she had done, what was the name of the plants and where did she plant them. The app helps for example to keep a diary of the work done in the garden and to store or find information about plants.

How to grow food more sustainable was Gunnar Backman main topic. He is one of the founders of Nordisk Råvara and they won in 2016 the first prize in Vinnova’s competition for innovative climate-friendly food. They try to grow food locally, in a way that is more like how it was done in the past avoiding monocultures and chemicals. Gunnar also talked about the need to find plant-based alternatives to the many animal-based ingredients used today.

Theresia Silander Hagström and Oytun Yildirimdemir, co-founders of Eatit, were also there. They both have a background from KTH in industrial engineering and management. The app Eatit uses blood tests, food preferences and medical research to generate individualized recipes to help people eat healthier. To achieve suggestions, the app uses machine learning and AI. On their webpage they describe their app with: “Think of Eatit as your private physician, personal nutritionist and private chef – all in one place! Optimizing wellness is not mystery, it’s science.” They are currently testing their MVP.

The final speaker was Mårten Thorslund founder of Matsvinnet. He talked about how he started to get interested in food waste and how he is now running a webpage where he shares information and advice on how to reduce food waste.

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Many in the audience seemed to have some business related to food and the atmosphere was very nice where people gave advice and recommendations such as features they might want to include, persons/organisations to contact or other businesses they might what to contact to partner up with.

During this event I talked to a guy studying to become a nurse who was there because he was interested in learning more about food sustainability. He talked about the huge food waste that occurs in hospitals and the need to do something about it.

I also met the co-founders of Enkla Kassen, Johannes and Patrik. This will be Johannes’ second startup and they just launched this new startup a few months ago. Their business aims to deliver climate friendly, fast to prepare, and inexpensive food bags. Currently they are targeting the Stockholm area and talked about visiting KTH to promote their business believing that students would be a good match for their product (might be a good chance for some free coffee if you manage to find them).

Thanks for reading,

Johan Wikström

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