Exploring the First Innovation Web: The Research Archetype

The first innovation web archetype of relevance is the “research web”. The research web archetype is a web of relationships with the primary focus on research and innovation exploration. It consists of tangible and intangible exchanges between innovators and users as shown in the figure and animated in the video at the end of the post..

The innovator is the originator of the “idea”. The user applies the “idea” to a challenge they face. Upon achieving the threshold values for key performance indicators the facilitated transition to the next web archetype called “Socialization” can be launched. This archetype evolves from the curiosity of innovators regarding particular challenges which become visible to them in the user community. It is this intangible curiosity which is declared to be the primary “trigger” for the process described since the user challenges are rarely (if ever) communicated directly to innovators, being more the result of a chaotic diffusion process. The intangible curiosity of the innovator(s) triggers the user(s) to share explicit tangible details of the problem being encountered with the innovator(s). The innovator(s) investigate the problem details and typically reply to the user with an intangibly formulated idea about how the problem might be addressed. The user(s) explores the idea suggested by the innovator(s) and may provide intangible feedback regarding suitability of that idea for addressing the problem in question. This feedback occurs in a significant manner at various stages of the process and is fundamental to the relationship that is built between user(s) and innovator(s). Upon receiving feedback the innovator(s) refines their intangible idea into a tangible product that is shared with the user(s) along with intangible guidance on how to use that product. At this stage the product may be a minimum viable concept or pilot since the innovator(s) is usually working without any dedicated funding source. At this stage user(s) will apply the product and its guidance to the problem at hand to then again provide feedback to the innovator(s) along with intangible feedback on the user experience plus a (growing) degree of trust in the relationship which is the foundation for effective collaboration and the discovery of the “true” challenge of relevance for the user(s). Based on the feedback, experience and trust of the user(s), the innovator(s) will enter into a refinement / upgrade process of the product and share that back with the user(s) along with a growing degree of trust in the value of their efforts to the user and later creation of intellectual and indeed financial capital. The upgraded product is tested by the user(s) and again feedback, experience and trust shared back to the innovator(s). The upgrade / feedback cycle typically occurs until that point in time where the relevant transition thresholds are met and the network can transform into the next web archetype focused on socialization of the product and its associated knowledge. The web weaver continuously facilitates the web archetype in order to nurture the key performance indicators towards their threshold values. Important to note is also that collaboration continuously occurs (and is indeed needed) within those participants of the innovator role and among those participants of the user role.


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