InnovationSpigit is a community platform offered by Spigit that that uses the concept of market dynamics to manage the innovation process and engage employees in this effort. I liked their creativity so I am cross-posting this from the App Gap. I recently spoke with Padmanabh Dabke, CTO and co-founder of Spigit, who explained it all to me. Padmanabh said the company is 15 months old and he based the concept on both his research in collaborative computing, and his work in financial services and exposure to market dynamics.
InnovationSpigit is a SaaS offering that goes far beyond the traditional static suggestion box or web site where ideas are collected. While it adds the social interactions of enterprise 2.0, it takes it a step further and puts the innovation funnel into a game situation based on market dynamics, adding a level of both fun and incentives. In this context, Spigit doesn't employ simple popularity metrics like Digg. Spigit quantifies conversations based on reputation, department or title within a company, expertise, community buzz, etc. It provides additional structure in a number of ways. First, Spigit looks at the conversations going on within the firm, such as blog posts, and computes a reputation score for each participant based on their social activity, a type of page rank for people.
This reputation score is used to evaluate employee input in a structured innovation funnel that contains three stages: innovation, validation, and market emergence. There is a home page where ideas get posted and people can rate them. Each idea has its own page where it can be explained, documents can be posted, discussions can occur, and team members can be added. The first two stages have a series of thresholds that an idea needs to cross to move forward. The metrics for advancement include ratings, discussions, and team participation. The reputation score of participants is factored in to these metrics. As individuals participate, they gain social currency that be translated into actual rewards so both people and ideas are rated. Below is a screen shot of an idea home page.
When the idea passes the first two stages it enters a market where individuals can buy and sell shares with their earned social currency and be rewarded if the idea becomes successful and gets implemented. A company can customize and weight all of the metrics, the funnel stages and thresholds, the stock price calculations, etc. They can also make the reputation scores more or less transparent to match their company culture. In summary, InnovationSpigit gives a company all the tools it needs to run an innovation market game to better engage employees in the process. It works best when the participant numbers are in the thousands, rather than the hundreds. This way you get the scale to reap the “wisdom of crowds” effect. Spigit offers a simpler version for companies in the hundreds of employees. There is also lot of reporting of all these metrics. Here is a screen shot of a sample reporting page.
They can also support prediction markets and here is a sample page with examples of prediction markets.
I was impressed with the innovation that went into devising this system. I think games can be very motivating. They also have checks to prevent “gaming” the game. Spigit cross-checks reputation and looks for spam like moves. Known experts need to make approvals at various stages. I think a key success factor is selecting the right mix of employees to participate and making it a part of their job to find the next great ideas for the company.
As an educational psychology by training, I have seen many studies that show people can learn best in game like situations as engagement increases. I also helped build a number of business simulations in the 80s and 90s and saw how motivating they can be. InnovationSpigit takes the business simulation concept and puts it to work doing real work. Spigit has received a number of awards including Best of Interop 2008 and the 2008 Gartner Cool Vendor in the High Performance Workplace. I can see the wisdom here.