Not invented here

Not invented here

Not invented here (NIH) is a term used to describe persistent social, corporate, or institutional culture that avoids using or buying already existing products, research, standards, or knowledge because of their external origins. It is normally used in a pejorative sense, and may be considered an anti-pattern. The reasons for not wanting to use the work of others are varied but can include fear through lack of understanding, an unwillingness to value the work of others, or forming part of a wider "turf war".[1] The opposite culture is sometimes denoted proudly found elsewhere (PFE)[2] or invented here.

As a social phenomenon, "Not Invented Here" syndrome is manifested as an unwillingness to adopt an idea or product because it originates from another culture, a form of nationalism.[3]


In computing

An argument for NIH is to guard against an aggressive action by another company buying up a technology supplier so as to create a captive market.[4] This may also guard against future supply issues due to political unrest or other issues.

In programming, it is also common to refer to the NIH Syndrome as the tendency towards reinventing the wheel (reimplementing something that is already available) based on the belief that in-house developments are inherently better suited, more secure or more controlled than existing implementations.

In popular culture

In late 2009, Bill Barnes (of Unshelved) and Paul Southworth (of Ugly Hill and You Are Dead) launched a webcomic titled "Not Invented Here" which parodies mistakes made in the software development industry such as overly-optimistic schedules, improper specifications, interferences from marketing (and other outside sources or departments) and many others. It is drawn from the experiences of Barnes, who worked in software development for two decades.

The Culture novel Excession by Iain M. Banks features a ship called Not Invented Here.[5]

See also


  1. ^ "The Innovation Playbook: A Revolution in Business Excellence", Nicholas J. Webb, Chris Thoen, John Wiley and Sons, 2010, ISBN 047063796X,
  2. ^ P&G's New Innovation Model
  3. ^ The Cambridge economic history of modern Britain
  4. ^ "Electronic Arts plays hardball". Retrieved 2008-12-29. 
  5. ^ "Not Invented Here – About". Retrieved 2011-02-04. 

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  • Not Invented Here — L expression Not Invented Here (littéralement « pas inventé ici ») désigne un syndrome dans une entreprise qui redéveloppe quelque chose qui existait déjà sous prétexte qu elle n a pas été conçue ou mise au point à l intérieur de celle… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • not invented here —    we reject and denigrate all other ideas than our own    A defensive mechanism of those who are employed to think and innovate, whose position is threatened if a third party achieves what they are being paid to do:     They didn t think of it,… …   How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms

  • not invented here — adjective Invented outside ones own company (referring to the knee jerk dismissal of products, technologies, etc. that come from third parties) …   Wiktionary

  • not-invented-here syndrome — ˌnot inˌvented ˈhere syndrome abbreviation NIH syndrome noun [singular, uncountable] disapproving HUMAN RESOURCES when people in a company consider new products or ideas from other departments or companies as threats, rather than trying to take… …   Financial and business terms

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  • Invented Here — is an opposite of Not Invented Here that occurs when management of an organisation is uncomfortable with innovation or development conducted in house. Reasons why this might be the case are varied, and range from a lack of confidence in the staff …   Wikipedia

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