How to Map your Ecosystem
We learned to compete but not to collaborate in our university courses.
We went to schools and studied ways to compete. Many of us read "Competitive Advantage" by Michael Porter. In our marketing strategy courses, we dived deep into the concepts of "Value Chains". Our professors shared the ideas of vertical and horizontal integration as key strategies for growth.
The nature of the market has changed. The markets do not emerge as value chains, and many of us are building strategies based around partnerships, not competition. Today the markets are Ecosystems—Ecosystem with many different types of actors, relations, and dependencies.
To position our product we need to re-think the definition of a market. Professor Shaun West from Lucerne University in Switzerland has researched the concept of Ecosystems. He has build a model for mapping the Ecosystem. It is both a process and map for working in the Ecosystem.
It has the entities: End Customer, Actors, Value flow, Info flow, Monetary flow.
- It is based on 6 steps:
- The Ecosystems Value delivery to Customer
- Identify Participating Actor
- Understand the Actors
- Mapp the Ecosystem
- Identify the types of flow (Value, Info, Money)
To make it useful, you might want to separate Actors in different levels and identify the pulse of flows involved.