As the Internet continues to grow and evolve, service ecosystems become more complex. Products are connected. The idea of a standalone offering is already something of the past. Building the proverbial better mousetrap does not necessarily win anymore.
Instead, thinking in terms of ecosystems is the new competitive advantage. Steve Denning, a popular business writer with Forbes magazine, puts it this way.
Even better products can disappear with alarming rapidity. By contrast, ecosystems that delight customers are difficult to build, but once built, are difficult to compete against.
Successful organizations will be determined by how well their services fit with each other and, more importantly, how well they fit into people’s lives.
Ecosystem design doesn’t apply only to large organizations. GOQii, for example, is a small company that makes a wearable fitness band. But unlike other bands, this one is connected to a trainer, who provides personalized health feedback. Meeting daily goals set by the trainer earns Karma points, which users can then donate to good causes.
By connecting activities around the field of fitness, GOQii created an ecosystem of experiences. This is an implicit part of the GOQii value proposition, reflected in their customer-facing diagrams, ...