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You Gotta Love Lego – Crowdsourcing meets Open Innovation!

by Stefan Lindegaard
September 8, 20119/8/11 14 Comments

Yes, you gotta love Lego! Not only is the company doing amazingly well during this ”crisis”; they are also constantly experimenting with new ways of working together with partners.

Their new thing is Lego Cuusoo. Here Lego has teamed up with Cuusoo, which is a Japanese pioneer of user innovative product design that introduced a design-to-order process already in 1998.

This image gives you a good explanation of the project:

Sofar only 1 project has been realized, but once Lego Cuusoo expands beyond Japan and thus activates the huge international fan base, this could turn into an interesting vehicle for Lego.

I think this is a great example on how crowdsourcing/co-creation (users create projects, try to get support) mixes with open innovation (the partnership between Lego and Cuusoo).

It fits well into my thinking that terms such as open innovation, crowdsourcing and co-creation are becoming less relevant. It is “just” about getting more external input to an innovation process. Nice work, Lego and thanks for the inspiration!

Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jorge says:

    Lego is perhaps the most innovative company in the world which is overlooked.
    They have been for decades developing several projects related with the discipline of innovation, like for example Lego Serious Play (for me one of the most interesting techniques to foster creativity and team building).
    It is very interesting to see how a company so related to a specific market sector and with such a long history (with almost 90years of existence) still has the energy to keep changing with success. Even more, they also still have the open mind to ask for and welcome external inputs from anyone.

    Without any doubt… an iconic and amazing company with the right culture!

  2. I agree – Lego has managed to escape the decline in its traditional business models, and has opened up to tap into the creativity and innovation of its customers.

    I wrote about it earlier here: http://jorendewachter.com/lego-builds-new-intelle

    It's brilliance is in sharing and opening up its own innovation with that of its customers.

  3. John Walsh says:

    Brilliant. The entire program, but moreover the company. How can a company sell cheap / commodity pieces of plastic blocks that connect together for $40 per box? Branding, innovation, quality, and knowing precisely who their consumer is and what they want. Tremendously impressive.

  4. Craig LaRosa says:

    They keep innovating across every age and demo. I just saw this new product co-produced with MUJI.

  5. Maxine Horn says:

    Lego are certainly an inspiration and what I love about their new move is that, unlike others using their customer base to inspire innovation, they set a challenge and are prepared to share in the revenues of anything they take forward.
    Great move and I hope to see far more of this kind of open innovation challenge with revenue sharing reward – it's akin to what I have been campaigning for for the last 4 years.

    Way to go lego – set the precedence for others to follow. @joren – great article as always – look forward to seeing you in November !

  6. Chris says:

    Just to straight this one out: is the cooperation of Lego and Cuusoo an example of open innovation in your understanding? To be honest: in mine it is not.

    The story behind Lego Mindstorms NXT ist a far more telling story in terms of open innovation, I would say. Nevertheless, it's a nice project.



  7. Christian Rangen says:

    This is a great example of expanding open innovation and social medias. Thanks.

  8. Anup Sahoo says:

    There are various aspects of entire innovation management tools. The key to open innovation strategy lies how an organization designs the innovation program based on companies goals and objectives. It is not only the free flow of inputs from customers and the Idea is selected based on no of votes. Collecting the customer voice is just first few steps. The key process is how you are filtering the best Ideas based on goals and objectives. Lego's lessons from this program definitely give a great insight for all the companies those who are planning to have an open innovation strategy in future.

  9. […] Horn, advocate of safeguarding intellectual property, commented: “Lego are certainly an inspiration and what I love about their new move is that, unlike others […]

  10. […] Horn, advocate of safeguarding intellectual property, commented: “Lego are certainly an inspiration and what I love about their new move is that, unlike others […]

  11. […] Horn, advocate of safeguarding intellectual property, commented: “Lego are certainly an inspiration and what I love about their new move is that, unlike others […]

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