Talking about crowdsourcing with Steven Webb

Is open innovation a future dire relationship between engineers and owners that will impoverish scientists?  

As a 25 years experience as a PhD scientist, winner of 10 open innovation challenges and architect of 130 solutions in the last four years in the open innovation realm, Steven is sincerely concerned about the impact of open innovation on future scientists.

Steven is a diamond scientist and works for the drill bit company, Hughes Christensen Corporation, owned by Baker Hughes. Hughes Christensen drill bits is the most innovative and technically advanced drill bit manufacturer in the world. Hughes Christensen introduced the first rotary rock bit in 1909. Since then, Hughes Christensen drill bits research and development programs have been responsible for the systematic advancement of drill bit technology. 

Steven is the scientist in charge of the diamond cutters on those drill bits and he has travelled to China over 20 times in the last 5 years sourcing diamond materials and diamond-making equipment.

We first met on Innocentive knowledge transfer and technology platform and in its winning solvers LinkedIn close group where we engaged in hot debates and feedback discussions in order to improve their system and our overall experience as problem solvers. Innocentive uses crowdsourcing and innovation management software and methodology to help seeking companies solve part of their R&D, business, management and leadership problems.

Steven solved very challenging problems while living open innovation experience:

  1. Materials for Exhaust System
  2. Diverse Experts Required: Formulating, Filling & Monitoring
  3. Process for No-Waste Partitioning
  4. Novel Methods of Converting Carbonic Acid to Carbonate Anion
  5. Non-Stick Plastics for Liquids
  6. What to Do with All That Wastewater?
  7. Lightning as an Alternative Energy Source
  8. Faster Mixing Methods for Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC)
  9. Fabric Quick-dry Technology
  10. Model of Process for Separating Seeds

Last winter we joined forces together with other winning solvers friends in order to offer the world new perspectives about our motivations, problems that we solved, what’s next after open innovation and to send our thoughts to leaders and influencers.

Our encounter on set was a great pleasure and our discussion brought to surface a lot of interesting and new perspectives.

Steven is a “lone wolf”. He prefers to be alone much of the time.  He thinks a lot. (This is not a metaphore, trust me!)

When he is not working, he is an avid cyclist; he rides around his hometown for 3 hours almost every weekend day when it is not raining.  He says this is exercise and to relish the fabulous weather of SE Texas, perpetual summer. He grew up in Toronto; lived in NY (New York), OH (Ohio) and MA (Massachusetts) and he very much appreciates snow, ice, sleet and clouds. He does his best thinking in Starbucks, with a 2.21$ coffee and 0.50$ refills (usually free if you smile and the owner isn’t a corporate supplicant to Howard Schultz, he says).

Watch our discussion here and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and questions:

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