IBM asks 100,000 employees, customers, and partners to help it innovate…in public. WOW.

In this Yahoo Finance article, IBM talks about its “Innovation Jam”, an attempt to very publicly run an innovation pipeline. This is awesome. I would love to know how they’re facilitating such massive conversation, and what they are using to make sense of it all. And it will be very interesting to find out later what the result is. Congratulations to IBM for making such a gutsy move.

As for the “what if our competitors do it?” risks….I think it is much like the entrepreneur who says, “I need an NDA before I tell you about my idea.” Opportunities are relative, not absolute. In other words one man’s opportunity is another man’s nightmare. It’s about execution. If it’s a good idea, others WILL do it. But only those with the will and resources and relative ability to achieve it. It’s less of a risk than most people think. A corollary from cryptography is that knowing how the key works (the business idea) is not the same as being able to break every message protected by that key (the execution or implementation of the plan).

I applaud IBM for this ballsy maneuver and wish them huge success.

This post written to Paper Moon from the album “Unforgettable” by Natalie Cole