The Necessity of Permissionless Innovation

The Necessity of Permissionless Innovation Published August 2016 Analyst: Bob Offutt


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Almost everywhere you turn today, businesses are defining themselves in terms like “progressive” and “innovative.”  Indeed, being on the cutting edge is a key message that corporations want to project to their customers. This focus on innovation has given rise to a new catch phrase: “permissionless innovation.” On its face, this sounds like a charter to go forth and invent new things. In fact, addressing the Federal Aviation Administration’s attempt to ban drones for commercial purposes, a Wall Street Journal columnist wrote: “The freedom to innovate without asking permission should become the rule for all U.S. industries, not the rare exception.” But wait: Can you see the GDSs or OTAs funding innovation for a better mousetrap or a hotel company supporting innovative ideas to rid airplane cabins of germs?

In this analysis, we will discuss approaches to innovation, including permissionless innovation that will enable travel companies to deliver new products and services that will enrich the travel experience and create new forms of value.

  • Introduction
  • Permissionless Innovation
  • Contextual Innovation
    • Bootlegging and Permitted Bootlegging
  • Other Approaches
    • Open APIs
    • Standards
    • Internal Evangelism
    • Skunk Works
    • Intrapreneurship
  • Barriers to Innovation
    • External to the Corporation
    • Internal Innovation Barriers
  • In Closing
    • The Recipe for Successful Innovation
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