The other day, Jeffrey Phillips from Thinking Faster gave me a guided tour of OVOInnovation‘s new web-based stuff for capturing ideas and moving them from concept to product. They actually call the process “Concept to Cash” and it’s pretty descriptive of what they’ve made. They’ve built this really cool system that allows companies to have a kind of holding tank for new ideas, which can then be classified, fleshed out, commented upon, revised and then tracked all the way to a finished something-or-other. If you let your mind go wild for a moment, you’ll probably start coming up with all kinds of neat ideas, like adding supporting files, depositing ideas via email, etc. They’ve done all that.
My available time was limited and I didn’t get to see all the stuff they built, just the front end and then a peek at some of the other stuff, but I was pretty impressed. I dunno, maybe I’m easily impressed, but I’d just never seen anything quite like it.
In my line of work, I don’t have much call for the kind of new product innovation that, for instance, car manufacturers do. But I could still see the benefit of having a single place where all new ideas get dropped. People could add their supporting documentation, everyone could review and then decide whether to move ahead. In the university system, I can see this working for new program development, new marketing materials, even research proposals within departments. Pretty cool stuff that seems like it could be applied to just about any discipline or domain of knowledge.