The Ecosystem Approach: A Network of Business Platforms
Like an individual species in a biological ecosystem each member of a business ecosystem shares the fate of the network, regardless of the individuals strengths.
In March 2004 Lansiti and Levien, wrote in The Harvard Business Review, "Like an individual species in a biological ecosystem each member of a business ecosystem ultimately shares the fate of the network as a whole, regardless of that member's apparent strength."
Lansiti and Levien have attributed Walmart's and Microsoft's success with their creation of business platforms, or ecosystems. In like manner, MoneyPhysicians' services, financing program, talent pools, tools and technologies comprise our platform.
The Evolution of the Business Ecosystem
The word "ecosystem" was first coined by Roy Clapham in 1930 and was later fully developed by ecologist Arthur Tansley. The definition according to biology publications is, "a system that includes all living organisms in an area as well as its physical environment functioning together as a unit."
Many companies big and small spend most of their time and resources managing their internal issues, paying little or no attention to their external ecosystem. Statistically, 90% of small to midsize companies fail within the first three years. While there are many reasons for the failures, we believe lack of management of the ecosystem is both a core reason and a summary statement for failing. Inadequate financing and poor sales, primary reasons for business failure, are all elements of the business ecosystem and must be managed from a holistic viewpoint.
Consider Research In Motion (RIM), the maker of the iconic Blackberry devices. Many commentaries have been published pertaining to their inevitable demise. However, the headline of a recent blog post from Harvard Business Review Blog Network, "Blackberry Forgot to Manage the Ecosystem," summarized it best. The author, Michael G. Jacobides said, "The story of Blackberry underlines a new truth about the competitive landscape we live in: success or failure isn't a function of a good product or service, or a well-run, cost effective company with a sound capital structure. It also requires an effective strategy to manage your ecosystem. This was Blackberry's failure."