Sad to see the link to Entrepreneur Country is now inoperative, so post here an article written for Julie Meyer's creation in 2014 which is as relevant today as it was then!
Ecosystem Economics™ - how cool can you get?
As a sequel to Eric Beinhocker’s fitness landscape with its adaptive walks and random jumps described in his treaties on “The Origin of Wealth” we have the very tangible Entrepreneur Country. Focused specifically on how entrepreneurs with digital technology insights (Davids) can combine with relative giants (Goliaths) to help commercialise innovations, new practices are being forged in the heat of battle. Fuelled by Julie Meyer’s passion, a new nation state is emerging, borderless and bold. So, are we now ready to take yet another adaptive leap forward with its underlying Ecosystem Economics™?
And it is a battle. Everyone in the space that Entrepreneur Country embraces has capabilities that, most likely, would find different expression depending upon what is actually allowed. “Wilful blindness” as described by Margaret Heffernan is everywhere, this despite the insights researched in Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma” and the opportunities provided by Chesbrough’s “Open Innovation.”
Can we now take a renewed look at the way we view the network effects of the ecosystems comprising the David and Goliaths? Currently the business model shows the relationships between the actual players, whereas Iansiti and Levien in “The Keystone Advantage” point to the use of specific roles being played. By conceiving role plays, can we understand better the dynamics of a business ecosystem? What other roles do we normally associate with our own contributions, and how do others perceive the value in them? Can we, instead, define a business model as:- a means of describing the structure of product, service and information flows and the roles of the participating parties? (1)
As for economics, surprisingly, perhaps, it is not so much about money as about some things which are implied by the use of money – exchange, scarcity, choice for example. A possible definition is that economics is a social science studying how people attempt to accommodate scarcity to their wants and how these attempts interact through exchange. We can then go with the idea that exchange is a fundamental precept or idea, underpinning economics.
We can now re-assemble ecosystems in a way that reveals how the business models of the Davids and Goliaths interact. More importantly, we can scale it down to reveal how anyone’s individual contribution, in whatever roles are played, can be seen in relation to others. Usefully, this then leads to the practice of analysing the value and other attributes of these contributions as perceived by the recipients, and even the orchestrator of the whole.
For simplicity, we call this a Value Exchange System™, and one application can certainly be to illuminate the new industrial model of Ecosystem Economics™, with the network effects emerging and manifesting in a value network space. How cool is that?
© 2014 David Meggitt and Christie Sarri, Partners, Meggitt Bird LLP
Article for publication in Entrepreneur Country, 28th March 2014