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InnoViz Project - Summary Report

InnoViz Project - Summary Report

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The InnoViz project is a study of network practices in the technology industry.
The research is set out to explore a new set of organizations and social networks around them, that are being built on the principles of openness, collaboration, and the sharing of expertise and knowledge. To examine the socio-economic conditions and peer practices that give birth to such enterprises, the researcher was embedded in the Appsterdam foundation.
Appsterdam is a distinguishing study-case; built on the premise "By App makers, for App Makers", it is flat organization that relies on the contribution, skills and creativity of its members. The project harvested online community data to quantitatively measure and validate the impact of social networks in the technology scene.
The InnoViz project is a study of network practices in the technology industry.
The research is set out to explore a new set of organizations and social networks around them, that are being built on the principles of openness, collaboration, and the sharing of expertise and knowledge. To examine the socio-economic conditions and peer practices that give birth to such enterprises, the researcher was embedded in the Appsterdam foundation.
Appsterdam is a distinguishing study-case; built on the premise "By App makers, for App Makers", it is flat organization that relies on the contribution, skills and creativity of its members. The project harvested online community data to quantitatively measure and validate the impact of social networks in the technology scene.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Olga Paraskevopoulou on Jun 20, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/15/2013

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InnoViz
Project Summary Report
 April 2013By Olga ParaskevopoulouCreative Industries Research Centre Amsterdam (CIRCA)
 
Project website http://innoviz.net
 
InnoViz Project Summary Report
Project website http://innoviz.net
Research Background
The research sets out to explore the appearance of a new set of organizations and social networks aroundthem, that are being built on the principles of openness, collaboration, and the sharing of knowledge andexpertise. To examine the socio-economic conditions and peer practices that give birth to such collective,bottom-up initiatives in the tech industry, the researcher was embedded in the Appsterdam foundation. Theproject took place from March 2012 to February 2013, and a crucial part of the research was to harvestonline data and design a practical study that would quantitatively measure the impact of social andprofessional networks in the tech scene.There are various technology communities and networks in the Amsterdam area, and particularly, there is agrowing network of App Makers that flourish on the ground of an economy of exchange. Rooted, historically,in community-led development, such as the Linux and the Apache systems, peer practices in the techindustry are featuring a new socio-economic trend, one that is more decentralized and cooperative. Anetworked model that is based on recognition, and trust not on hierarchy and control. As software development becomes important for players in all industries, such networks have been broughtto the spotlight. To examine and asses the network model of cooperation between tech practitioners, theInnoViz project took the Appsterdam or ganization as a case-study and source of data. By observing andharvesting data from a real world example of a network organization, the goal was to validate the networkeffects on open innovation and measure the size of the tech scene in Amsterdam.
Why is the research relevant today?
Due to the economic recession and austerity, innovation becomes an urgent call. A call to open and reinventtraditional structures and models of economic growth, to address the market’s pressing demands. Openinnovation and the concept of capturing and implementing ideas in a hub of collaboration is becoming thenew value proposition for larger and smaller organizations.The pace of innovation is faster in open systems and places that are able to build an ecosystem ripe for network activity. For that reason, there is a lot of interest both from the public and the private sector to further understand networked communities and innovation economies, and tap into their knowledge and resources.The current discourse of such developments have not generated yet a broadly accepted analytic model to
 
asses open strategies and the network phenomenon. Despite the strong interest inthe digital cluster andtechnology communities, policy has little or no data available to measure the value that the industry and thenetwork synergies generate.The lack of data was the main driver for the InnoViz research and project, and the Appsterdam network wasa valuable data source to gain an overview of the network dynamics: the density, diversity and distribution of people, and companies. Existing reports and market statistics fail to capture this level of distributed, micro-economic activity. The individual shops, the startup ventures, and new coalitions and cooperations that aretaking place underneath the numbers that the reports are capturing
1
. The InnoViz study, was based onquantitative data derived from the Appsterdam network of App Makers, and demonstrates the benefit of exploring community data. Data that allowed us to zoom into the micro level of economic activities in the Amsterdam region and beyond.
The Appsterdam network
 Appsterdam has been conceived, initiated and sustained by App Makers; independent professionals workingwith technology and learning from one another, while creating new products, services and companies. It is ahorizontal organization which depends on the contribution, skills and creativity of its members. It exists for aslong as its members acknowledge its socio-economic relevance and value. The organization retains acatalyst role transferring ownership and responsibility to the circle. It facilitates the initiatives of other playersin the tech ecosystem and supports new ventures. This approach is incentivizing openness andcollaboration, knowledge sharing, and connects the different components of the ecosystem.The core members are engineers, developers and entrepreneurs; a handful of people that have built Appsterdam on the premise of “by App Makers for App Makers”. The organization attracts, however,independent professionals from many different disciplines, companies and organizations, irrespective theplatform or technology of use, who want to join with their skills, support each other and feed the network. Theoutcome has been an open and influential network of App Makers.Such practices have become important for the economic development of one region as they pave new waysof doing business and innovating under recession. Networked problem-solving, creates a motor that movesideas and dialogue from centralized strategies and plans to resources on the edges of the network and turnsthem to actions.
The InnoViz project
The above reasons made Appsterdam, as a non-profit organization, a social network and technologycommunity, a distinguishing study case. For a period of 4 months I collected data and collaborated withindividual contractors and the design agency Clever Franke, to index and analyze the findings. Although themembers of the community and the different components of the network are aware of the social and supportinfrastructure that the organization has built, one of my challenges was to communicate that knowledge tothose outside the community. To expose to a wider audience how the network processes increase the valuecreated in the industry and create a tool that would visualize some of the network aspects and let theaudience interact with the derived data.
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See the CBS website, last accessed in February (2013)http://www.cbs.nl/nl-NL/menu/informatie/beleid/publicaties/papers/archief/2012/monitor-topsectoren.htm& the Amsterdam InnovationMotor (AIM) report on the cluster of digital media companies (2012)

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