What Is A Business Ecosystem?

In his book “The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems,” James F. Moore defines a business ecosystem as:

“a network of organizations that form an interconnected system of value creation and exchange.”

This system is characterized by a web of relationships between companies, suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders who work together to create, deliver, and capture value.

✔️ Main Participants in a Business Ecosystem

A business ecosystem typically involves a diverse group of participants, including:

  • Core Players: These are the companies that provide the core product or service that drives the ecosystem. In the Apple ecosystem, for instance, Apple is the core player.
  • Supporting Players: These are the companies that provide complementary goods or services that support the core product or service. For example, in the Apple ecosystem, companies like Samsung, Google, and Adobe are supporting players.
  • Infrastructure Providers: These are the companies that provide the infrastructure that supports the ecosystem, such as telecommunications companies, data centers, and logistics providers.
  • Customers: These are the individuals or organizations that use the products or services of the ecosystem.

✔️ Characteristics of a succesful business ecosystem

Business ecosystems are characterized by several key features:

  • Interdependence: The participants in the ecosystem are interdependent on each other for their success. The success of one participant can directly impact the success of the others.
  • Mutual Value Creation: The participants in the ecosystem work together to create value for each other and for their customers.
  • Open Innovation: The ecosystem encourages the sharing and exchange of ideas and knowledge among participants.
  • Adaptability: The ecosystem is able to quickly adapt to changes in the business environment online and offline and in the competitive landscape in the eyes of their customers.

✔️ The Role of Leadership in Business Ecosystems

While business ecosystems are decentralized and self-organizing, leadership in terms of the leading organisation is important in ensuring the succes of everyone inside the businessecosystems. Leaders play a key role in:

  • Defining the vision and strategy of the ecosystem
  • Encouraging collaboration and cooperation among participants
  • Creating a culture of innovation and shared value creation
  • Addressing challenges and conflicts that may arise


Business ecosystems are a powerful way for companies to create value, innovate, and adapt to the ever-changing business environment. By understanding the principles of business ecosystems and their characteristics, companies can position themselves to thrive in this complex and interconnected world.

Moore argues that business ecosystems represent a fundamental shift in the competitive landscape, moving away from traditional head-to-head competition in red oceans towards a more collaborative, value-creating approach.

Digital leaders, including AI-leaders that successfully integrate AI in an integrated ways into their whole AI-powered business model including their AI-powered organisational design and participate in these AI-powered business ecosystems will be well-positioned for success in the AI-powered economy. Under the condition that they use the right innovate digital transformation tools including the AI-Model Canvas© by Tony de Bree.

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If you want to learn how to describe your current business ecosystem on 1 A4 as the basis for your new AI-powered business model with your AI-Powered Organization using the AI-Model Canvas© and other innovative methods and tools for digital transformation experts, management consultants and change managers, contact us today for a free online intake session. Please email your mobile number and the link to your LinkedIn profile using this form. Then we immediately will contact you to schedule that call or face-to-face meeting.

Kind regards,
Tony de Bree

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