CHAPTER 12Ecosystems: Building an Ecosystem Playbook for Scaling a New Venture

Christine Griffin and John Greco


It is easy to think that the success of a Corporate Explorer depends only on finding a value proposition that delights a customer by helping solve an important problem. However, most markets are more complex than that; they involve many other players, each with its own motivations, which may or may not align with yours.

There are providers of adjacent products, whom you depend on to make your innovation successful. There are regulators, who are gatekeepers to market access in many areas. There are intermediaries who influence which products get used and which do not, such as doctors or pharmacies in a medical market, systems integrators in technology, or distributors in product markets. All these players have interests and motivations that may or may not align with your own. That means that “ecosystem” relationships can either play a beneficial role – completing a value proposition and helping accelerate customer adoption – or become a barrier to adoption.

Corporate Explorers need a strategy for working with this “ecosystem” that will help customers adopt their product or service. They also need a strategy to access that ecosystem to acquire the capabilities, capacity, and customers to scale their venture. The ecosystem determines success or failure regardless of whether you choose to engage it or not. You need to dig deeply into the motivations of ...

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