Collaborative Innovation Networks for the        commercialization of Future Media Technologies                           ...
Additionally there are some technological features that change the overall user experience,being not only attention captur...
Applying efficient and on-going innovation management mechanisms secures maximumoutput from emerging technologies within a...
Collaborative Innovation NetworksA collaborative innovation network (COIN) is a social network outside organizationalbound...
COINS for Future MediaThe specific characteristics of Future Media applications enable to tune COINs in a way thatthey are...
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  1. 1. Collaborative Innovation Networks for the commercialization of Future Media Technologies Constantin ThiopoulosWhat is Future Media?Recent developments of enabling technologies trigger a shift in consumer behavior andimpose a dramatic change in the media landscape. In fact the very notion of medium, as achannel for the transmission of content to a mass audience, is currently undertransformation.The key characteristics of this paradigm shift are: 1. Content Fragmentation, meaning that the content is repackaged and reused for different applications. Thereby, although 80% is inspected through a few websites, there is a long tail phenomenon for the rest 20%. In terms of the attention economy a decreasing number of visitors leads to an even bigger decrease in advertising monetization, but because of the fragmentation there is a need to cope with the increasingly important long tail. 2. Audience Autonomy, meaning that the control in media consumption is moving towards the end consumer, since it is more and more possible to choose not only the content but also the time of consumption, something that is supported both through the migration to the web but also with the increased use of mobile end devices. 3. Prosuming, meaning that the consumer becomes also a content producer. In fact this is the core format in social media, social networks capitalize on content generated content. However there is also a need to come up with alternative monetization models, since too much advertising will have a negative impact on the prosumers. 4. Social embeddness, meaning that – due to the increasing interlinking of content consumption to the social capital in networks – the message is no more a one-to- many transmission but many-to-many information flows, generating buzz.1
  2. 2. Additionally there are some technological features that change the overall user experience,being not only attention capture drivers but introducing also a more intuitive and immersiveuse of technology, such as mixed modes including language, video, Augmented Reality,gesture and motion tracking.Another important aspect is the increased visual character of communication, the content isdirectly captured and presented without a necessary textual annotation or description. Visualcommunication is more immediate, the transmission of images delivers much moreinformation than any textual description, however exhaustive it might be. This information isalso absorbed by the viewer more directly, without the need of a mental reconstruction.The term Future Media is used to describe applications that enable this new communicationparadigm. So from a communication theory point of view Future Media consists ofapplications that create information flows in communication networks. These flows createevents, as the result of out of the network activity emerging attention drivers. The medium isthe message becomes the networkis the event.Future Media Applications have also a considerable impact on the media value chain. Thecombination of apps stores, the continuous improvement of telecommunications and webinfrastructure and the introduction of low cost specialized h/w leads to low entry barriers andcontinuously increases the role of technology enablers in the value chain.Moreover such Future Media applications can be used for innovation diffusion of newapplications, i.e. the same medium serves at the same time as technology platform for a newapplication but also as a diffusion medium.Innovation Management for Technology CommercialisationThe technology commercialisation process has the following phases: 1. Opportunity identification: this is basically the matching between a technology developed and a perceived market need. 2. Opportunity exploitation: here the initially perceived opportunity will have to be positioned on a value chain and against direct, indirect or potential competition. 3. Mobilisation of resources: the launching of the identified application requires the availability of human, technological, methodological, commercial, financial and social resources. 4. Legitimation: the goal is to secure the adoption of the application, establishing the support of market players, using change agents and applying network diffusion.2
  3. 3. Applying efficient and on-going innovation management mechanisms secures maximumoutput from emerging technologies within an organization. The continuous proactivescanning for opportunities and the embedding of the commercialization process in amethodological framework enables the arising of learning and re-innovation, leading thus to agradual improvement of intra-organisational innovation management.Optimisation of opportunity identification requires an external and an internal scan. Theexternal scan monitors market developments and identifies market needs, while the internalevaluates the potential of ongoing R&D work. If there is a significant match betweentechnological features and market needs, there is a decision to commit resources for thefurther exploitation of the identified opportunity.Exploitation defines monetization and positioning and calculates required resources andexpected financial value. The development of an adequate business model requirescooperation with experts from the target market and leads a business plan, that defines themarket entry strategy in qualitative and quantitative terms.Mobilisation requires a network of associated experts, entrepreneurs, executives andfinancial or strategic investors combined with a targeted dissemination of the businessopportunity. The overall success of a market entry depends on the mobilization of a criticalmass of resources.Thereby it is important to clarify and present the attributes of the innovation that determinethe rate of adoption:  relative advantage,  compatibility,  ease of use,  trialability  observability.Legitimation requires the establishment of cooperation with change agents that will introducemarket acceptance. Their capability is based either on an authority position, being majormarket players, or on their expert position as intermediaries to such companies or as havingan influent position in a certain market. In Future Media there is an increasing role of socialmedia in the diffusion process, meaning that buzz generation from influencers functions asattention driver.Although these phases are separate there is a strong interference between them. Aconvincing exploitation and a first legitimation will lead to a more effective recoursemobilization. A good team with a strong business case and identified interest of establishedmarket players is attractive to investors. On the other hand, expression of interest byinvestors leads to increased mobilization of human and other resources.3
  4. 4. Collaborative Innovation NetworksA collaborative innovation network (COIN) is a social network outside organizationalboundaries and across conventional hierarchies. Networked teams assemble around acommon goal and create swarm creativity.The embedding of innovation management processes in a COIN produces maximum outputwith minimum costs:  During opportunity identification the radar of the external scan can amplified to include the market insights of all network members.  Opportunity exploitation can profit from synergies and accumulated experience.  Mobilisation of resources not only benefits from the extended network, but also in generating awareness for future applications.  Legitimation, finally, is more easily achieved, since information diffusion on new applications starts within the network but is multiplied by the social capital of the networked team.If, for example, an early stage investor is aware not only of the business case and themanagement team, as it is the case in presentations, but also of the other resources thathave a declared interest in the specific business case, it will increase his motivation. On theother hand, if an investor declares his interest in the project but demands an increasedacquisition of resources, this interest serves as a mobilization driver for further resources.The embedding, therefore, of a business case in a COIN uncovers the “social capital” of thebusiness case, i.e. the network of interested actors and their connections. Moreover, theaccumulation of interested actors serves as a multiplier in resource mobilization, i.e.expression of interest of a resource triggers the expression of interest of further resources.The overall process leads to increased support of “winning” business cases and the abandonof not promising ones at an early stage, leading thus to the most effective use of resourcesby “self-organisation”. The winning cases will be able to accumulate the critical mass ofresources required to enter the market. Some abandoned ones could also become attractorsof resources at a later stage, due to market changes or revised exploitation strategy.In order for COINs to be sustainable and operate effectively they need to be based oninternal trust and transparency. It is for this reason that COINs can only be small worldnetworks, i.e. networks in which every member can reach any other member over a smallnumber of connections.4
  5. 5. COINS for Future MediaThe specific characteristics of Future Media applications enable to tune COINs in a way thatthey are optimized for the commercialization of related applications.This includes: 1. The selection of executives from the media industry, media consultants, early stage investors with a focus on media, R&D experts in new media, etc. 2. Focusing on the identification and monitoring of specific market needs arising from the value chain transformation 3. Targeting new business models that enable monetization beyond ads 4. The set up of innovation diffusion mechanisms that take advantage of social media 5. The creation of synergies between applications (apps within apps), that promote a mutual market penetration 6. The use of visualization of new applications through video and AR apps 7. The leverage of financing through syndicationReferencesManuel Castells: Communication Power. Oxfrod University Press, 2009.Thomas H. Davenport, John C. Beck: The Attention Economy. Harvard Business SchoolPress, 2001.Tom Elfring, Willem Hulsink: Networks in Entrepreneurship: The Case of High-technologyFirms. In Small Business Economics 21: 409–422, Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003.Peter A. Gloor: Swarm Creativity. Oxford University Press 2006.Peter Monge, Noshir Contractor: Theories of Communication Networks.Philip M. Napoli: Audience Evolution. Columbia University Press 2011.Everett M. Rogers: Diffusion of Innovations. Free Press 2003Joe Tidd, John Bessant, Keith Pavitt: Managing Innovation. John Wiley & Sons, 2005.5