The idea for IdeaScale functions on a simple premise: good ideas can come from anywhere. This tenet underpins most of crowdsourcing and all open innovation programs. The idea isn’t new (after all, the very idea of democracy is based on the wisdom of the crowd), but it’s become more and more sophisticated alongside the systems that enable it and more and more powerful as the total population that anyone can reach out to becomes broader and more diverse. So we thought we’d take a moment this week to celebrate four innovations that started as employee ideas. They had the vision to identify a solution, test it and their companies had the foresight to support and implement it.
The Home Depot Bucket Mister. We started out with an example from an IdeaScale community. This product, which combined existing resources was a great new offering that demonstrated stellar results. And if this marketer hadn’t shared their idea in a crowdsourcing community, the product team might never have found it.
Opening an Adjacent Market in the Financial Sector. elMejorTrato.com is a South American financial company who was able to open a totally new line of business when their Engineer Alejandro Trecco realized that customers who were engaging them for a car loan would also be interested in contracting their car insurance through them, as well. They tested the idea in one country and then rolled it out across the rest of their company. That suggestion created an additional line of revenue over $21.5M.
A Credit Offering for SMBs. Fundbox is an artificial intelligence company that uses machine learning in order to assess the creditworthiness of small businesses and in the world of small business serving other businesses (what we call SMB2B) there isn’t an easy way to purchase products or services in the same way that consumers can easily utilize credit cards. So Ophir Horowitz developed a test plug-in that would bring Fundbox’s credit services to the SMB2B customer’s point of need which happens inside of SaaS accounting, payroll, inventory management, logistics, etc applications. The product was called Fundbox Fuse.
A New Website Hosting Solution. Vendasta Technologies is a SaaS company and their new product, WebsitePro emerged during a hackathon in 2016. For years, the executives had talked about websites as a core part of any business’s online strategy, yet did not offer a website solution for our partners to resell. Then two Senior Developers at the time) decided to prototype a horizontally scalable WordPress hosting system built on top of Google’s Kubernetes Engine and CloudSQL products. After launching the completed project in October, the solution is already seeing some of the best client retention rates, with an 80% retention rate after 10 months.
Now it’s time to hear from you: what ideas started out from a random employee suggestion and delivered real value?