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January 24, 2006

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» Practice-based and user-driven innovation in small communities from Putting people first
Finnish designer Ulla-Maaria Mutanen (aka The HobbyPrincess) argues that small communities will have to radically change their innovation policy in the near future. This will include the moving from strictly institutional, business-oriented idea of in... [Read More]

Comments

Johan Bonner

Dear,


can you get in contact with me since I'm very interested in your point of view


regards,

Johan Bonner

Peter Childs

A couple of things - first I heard about your concept for a universial product identifier to make finding small run products easier. That could reopen the doors to viable 'craft' manufacturing targeting a world wide market without losing a large percentage of the sale cost to distrubution and resale channels. Great idea.

Here in Ottawa (canada) we've developing a community service aimed at supporting people as they first begin to consider business start-up. What we're trying to do is address the conditions that cause ideas to come off the rails before they've really started. Things like confidence, finding like minded people, shareing what you've learned etc.

We're still in the early planning stage but my sense is that by focusing of the very earliest stages of business start-up we can iinvrease both the number of people who actually start business and by strengthening their knowledge and networks the number that are successful.

I'd be interested in your paper when it's available.

Ulla-Maaria

Hi Peter, thank you for the feedback. I agree that early informal support is very important. You need people with whom you can play with ideas and try out prototypes. Still, the governmental organizations that support the development of innovations (at least here in Finland) seem to make a strict separation between business and private (leisure time) activity. Most of their services are targeted to already existing companies.

Ulla-Maaria

Here is a manual trackback to the Innovation Insider.

Peter Childs

I’d agree that most government services are targeted to existing businesses. Finland sounds no different than Canada in that regard.

What we’re finding is that there is recognition that business development is a lot like developing professional athletes that you can create more world caliber performers if you can get more people participating.

For government the cost of delivering services is always an issue. What we’re doing is apply a combination of online and networking tools at the problem set that stops people from starting a business. Our interest is technology companies so the problems we are addressing are:
- Team formation and product building environments
- Business Training & Mentorship
- Customer engagement tools
- Network and giving back
But in the underlying model is applicable to any business.

Much of the model is based on using online community tools to allow people in start-up phase to share information and recommendations so that ones individual experience can benefit everyone – and theirs benefit you. We’ve also found that linking to what’s already in the community is better than recreating it (and helps on the support side). We’re planning on using were using open source products to deliver the service and a volunteer board to run it. To help build and sustain the community we’ve tacked on a few services around the community to increase they length of time people participate and thereby ensure that the community is active enough to be self-sustaining.

We’re still very early in the process of identifying and getting support. I’m happy to forward a more detailed view of the services and model if that’s helpful.

Thanks for the link.

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