Are we losing our innovation religion? [EDN]

You can outsource product design to a third party, which in turn may use big chunks of external intellectual property; you can outsource physical manufacturing; and now, you can even outsource your research and development. […] What’s left? Not to worry, many say: The companies that outsource so many aspects of their roles can do the upfront product definition, as well as the product marketing. Sounds like a plan, doesn’t it?

However, all this outsourcing buries a reality: Once your outsource partners learn how you define products, how you market them, and whatever other “secret” understanding you have or you assume that you have, and you have an “in” on your markets, those partners no longer need you. It’s that simple. The “secret sauce” you think makes a difference may not be such a secret or maybe isn’t the barrier to entry that you thought it was.

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(via Institute for the Future)

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