[Joel's photo]

Joel West’s Blogs


I now have six blogs. In chronological order of founding:


All six blogs are related to my research and consulting interests on innovation and entrepreneurship, and are informed by my research, my personal experience (e.g. reading or hearing other people’s work at conferences), and my ex-journalist’s instincts towards the news of the day.


I have three Twitter feeds:

  • @SolarProf has a summary of my cleantech blog postings, and other interesting news of renewable energy and related topics.
  • @BioBizBlog has postings related to the business of drug discovery and other life science industries.
  • @openITstrat has the other blog postings, as well as retweets of other articles.


[Seeking Alpha]Since July 2008, a subset of the blog postings have been redistributed by the Seeking Alpha website.

My Blogs

These are my blogs (in the order of their 2011 activity):

  • Open IT Strategies (January 2007-present): originally focused on open-ness as an IT strategy — which of course also means covering proprietary strategies — but today also looks frequently at creating successful business models despite increasing pressures for commoditization. It also considers more broadly issues of strategy, economic policy and accountability in public and private institutions. A summary of the first thousand articles was published in October 2009.
  • Cleantech Business (August 2008-present): includes my observations (particularly from a Silicon Valley perspective) about the economics of clean technologies, with a particular focus on renewable energy (especially solar and biofuels), energy efficiency and electric transportation.
  • Open Innovation (May 2007-present): an adjunct to the OpenInnovation.net website, this is intended to be the definitive blog for research on open innovation; I also sometimes comment on articles on the practice of open innovation. This blog is part of the new Open Innovation Community, co-founded with Henry Chesbrough, that was launched in November 2010.
  • Bio Business (April 2011-present): ties to my newest employer, with its focus on the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.
  • Engineering Entrepreneurship (April 2008-present): ties to my research (and teaching) interest: how ideas in engineering and science are transformed into new startup companies. This considers how this process is taught in universities, research on the practice by academics, as well as observations on what technical entrepreneurs are doing
  • San Diego Telecom Industry (March 2007-present): news and commentary about the San Diego telecommunications industry (including Qualcomm and its CDMA technology), as a byproduct of my research for a planned book on the industry.

About Me

I’m a (full) Professor, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at KGI, the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, one of the seven Claremont Colleges in Southern California. Our mission is to provide an interdiscplinary professional education (in both science and business) for students entering biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other life science industries.

I joined KGI from the San José State University College of Business in Silicon Valley, where I was an associate professor and professor from 2002-2011.

Before that, I spent the 1980s and 1990s as a third-party software developer (ISV) for two proprietary platforms. First, it was as a software engineer designing simulation software for the DEC’s VAX/VMS machines (1979-1986), and then later as the co-founder and president of an ISV for the Apple Macintosh. During this period, I also worked as a political reporter and computer trade magazine columnist.

Since I started down the academic path in 1994, I’ve been a researcher on how firms use “open”-ness as a competitive strategy in three major areas:

  • Open Standards (1996-present): this has included work on Japanese PC standards, cell phone standards, a re-examination of Apple’s cloning strategy, and a comprehensive analysis of the economics of “open” standards.
  • Open Source (2000-present) as one of the leading academic researchers on how firms use open source software as a competitive business strategy.
  • Open Innovation (2004-present), notably as the co-editor and co-author of Open Innovation: Researching a New Paradigm, a collection of research on open innovation published in 2006 by Oxford University Press.

A fourth major research interest has been Technical Entrepreneurship, specifically the creation of startup companies in technology (especially engineering) based fields.

Since 2002, I’ve also worked as a strategy consultant for high-tech companies, usually developing or refining business models related to open standards, open source and open innovation.

My full resumé and a capsule biography can be found online. My e-mail address is .

Last Updated January 20, 2012

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