Overall Satisfaction with Innocentive
I have used Innocentive as part of my MBA program and have been using it personally since then. It is currently not being used at my company but it could be useful when we have problems that we don't have a solution for and need some outside expertise in an area that we currently do not staff for.
- Innocentive is very responsive to answering questions that are asked through their platform. In my experience they have replied within 24 hours and their responses were descriptive and thoughtful. Being able to have an answer to your question quickly when you are working on a project is imperative, especially when there is a deadline for the project.
- If your project proposal is accepted by the end user through Innocentive, Innocentive assigns you a point person through the exit process and that person was extremely helpful in providing me the documentation that is necessary for the exit process as well as how the payment will be distributed and when. The entire process was transparent and I never encountered any issues or frustrations while working with Innocentive.
- Innocentive provides email communication about new projects that are posted through their site, as it pertains to your strengths and skills. A lot of times I have valued the email communication because it got me interested in a project that I would normally not search for or consider.
- I think that Innocentive could add a few more FAQ's to their list, such as when exactly a solver's profile will be updated with the 'solver' status. I did not realize it wouldn't be until the payment was sent out to me as opposed to when my project proposal was accepted.
- I also think that Innocentive could add information about the duration of time it takes between having your project proposal accepted and actually receiving payment as well as what documentation is needed to be signed, notarized and sent back to them after your project is accepted.
- Since I have used this through my MBA program as well as on a personal level, I have seen greater self improvement and motivation with my work within my company. I also read other solver's solutions which allows me to understand how the winning solution solved the problem which helps me to think in different ways when it comes time to create new innovative solutions for my own company.
- I think that projects that are solved through Innocentive definitely have a faster lead time, especially for areas in which a company does not have a lot of expertise (i.e. computer engineering or product engineering). Innocentive has thousands of experts in various fields across the globe, and hundreds of these experts may be working on their own solution for any given project, so any company willing to post their RFP through Innocentive will receive the largest, most varied, and most professional solutions that they would never be able to receive through a traditional company model.
There are other similar products such as BrightIdea.com and CrowdSource.com, but I have found that Innocentive was far easier to use (has a very user-friendly interface), has the ability for the user to contact anyone else within the Innocentive network, and allows users to work on a solution by forming a team with other Innocentive solvers. Additionally, I selected Innocentive because it was endorsed by my university which I trusted because I knew that it was already vetted by them and proved to be a trustworthy company.
I will certainly continue to use Innocentive, not just because it is easy to use but because it provides a challenge for me on a personal level as well as provides me opportunities within the solver's network. I could also use Innocentive in the future from an RFP perspective by leveraging this great group of innovation experts to help me find a solution to a problem from my own company. Without Innocentive, you are stuck implementing solutions from inside a box but when you are able to leverage Innocentive, your box opens up to the entire world and I guarantee that you will receive a solution to a problem that you never thought of before!
I believe that Innocentive is well suited for people who have skills in any of the following areas: computer science, advanced healthcare, sociology, business management and any kind of engineering. The projects that can be solved through Innocentive need to be new ideas for these companies and need to be detailed. Also, I have found that project proposals need to be detailed enough so that the end user knows exactly what needs to be done to solve their solution, and that it is ok to go over the 3-5 page length. One of my proposals that was accepted was 20 pages in length but had to include the details such as screen mockups, server analysis, etc in order for the company to be able to successfully implement my solution.