How Spigit Fosters Innovation: A Hands-On Tour - InformationWeek
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8/29/2012
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How Spigit Fosters Innovation: A Hands-On Tour

In both its enterprise software and its new freemium product, Icon, Spigit offers tools for brainstorming and selecting the best ideas. Learn more in this Valley View video.

Ready to challenge your employees to give you their best ideas? This video interview will show you how Spigit can help make it happen.

I interviewed Spigit VP of product Hutch Carpenter at the June Enterprise 2.0 Boston conference (or what we'll be calling E2 Social). The E2 conference series uses Spigit to manage the call for papers process, so I had gotten a little hands-on experience using it to evaluate speaker proposals as one of the track chairs. But I still learned a lot from this conversation and hope you will, too.

The firm's flagship product, Spigit Engage, is used to harness what Carpenter calls "the collective smarts of your employees or your customers." Most often, this is crowdsourcing within the company, as with the airline WestJet soliciting and organizing money-saving suggestions from employees. This process is also sometimes called "ideation."

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Spigit has also introduced a freemium ideation product, Icon, which tries to simplify the idea generation and evaluation process and make it more fun by applying gamification techniques. For example, to simplify the rating of ideas, Icon uses a "hot or not" style technique called "pairwise comparison" to present alternatives side by side, so users vote one up and the other down.

The free Icon product is intended to draw in potential customers for Spigit Engage. It looks nifty enough that I asked Carpenter if he should worry that people will be happy with Icon and never want to move to the paid product. He said Spigit Engage offers much more in terms of enterprise reporting. Support for techniques like pairwise comparison will also be added to Engage, for those who find it attractive, he said.

One of the things I found impressive about Engage was the way it can be customized to be industry-specific. For example, you will see that in the auto industry example he used for his demo, the report reflected product development stages such as "road test."

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