We wrote this paper on the initial development of an ecosystem for the Innovation and Product Development Conference in June 2020 in Antwerp. We focused on the start of an ecosystem, as we get very often the comment that many executives are now convinced that ecosystems are important, but that there is a lack of guidelines about how to build one.
As the paper was rather long and aimed at an academic audience, we have split it up into smaller sections. You also may want to skip some sections. For example, we provide a quite detailed literature overview, which may be less relevant for some of the practitioners.
8 CASE STUDIES
Our research is based on a number of case studies. In the end we have chosen 8 in depth case studies and we use cases from different parts of the world, and different industries. We wanted to show that ecosystems are relevant in many different situations where companies want to innovate in the face of uncertainty. And ecosystems are much more than industry clusters or platform companies.
KICKSTART THE ECOSYSTEM
In building an ecosystem we have six recommendations: ensure your credibility as an ecosystem builder, co-opt foundation customers, provide a roadmap, communicate the value of joining the ecosystem, lower the entry barriers and look for partners that can bring their own ecosystems. Each of these are discussed in different sections and illustrated with the case studies.
- Proposition 1 – Ensure that your initiative to build an ecosystem is credible to your partners
- Proposition 2 – Co-opt foundation customers
- Proposition 3 – Develop and share an initial roadmap for the ecosystem
- Proposition 4 – Communicate to partners the value of joining
- Proposition 5 – Shrink the entry barriers for potential partners
- Proposition 6 – Look for partners that can bring their own ecosystems
GROW THE ECOSYSTEM
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