I had a chance to interview a number of people at Local Motors including the Community Manager, Ariel Ferreira and John Rogers the CEO. The acronym they use for the business is COOL and is explained in this interview.
Of note is the fact that John Rogers indicated that they built the business based on a Co Creation process. It seems to be working quite well for cars.
This is an IBM video that shares how open source innovation and sharing of data helped the chocolate industry, the City of Dubai, and improved the survival rate of premature babies. Don't get me wrong, its certainly a promo piece for IBM, but the stories are worth it. I found myself watching the entire 15 minute video.
The US Department of Defense is know for, among other things, being a poor steward of taxpayer dollars. Remember the $1,000 toilet seat? Wary of these types of cost over-runs, the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) decided to try something a bit different by asking individuals, rather than corporations, to design its newest combat vehicle. Teaming up with Local Motors, DAPRA sponsored a design competition open to anyone in the world. With a prize offering of $7,500 (about 8 toilet seats), this competition received over 150 design submissions. The winning design, the FLYPMode by Victor Garcia went from concept to prototype in less than six months! This is yet another example, of how innovation by individuals can meet or exceed the innovation by firms.