What is Ecosystem Economics?

Technology is no longer an industry; it is a layer transforming all industries. So there is a lot to learn from how the tech platform companies have secured their dominant market positions today. They have understood some basic principles about the Future:

• Consumers are driving all purchases; the consumerisation of technology
• The world is driven by networks
• This in turn makes exponential growth the norm
• Costs are strictly aligning to revenue, and everything is moving to a unit economics basis

The question Ariadne started asking itself 8 years ago which led to the launch of EntrepreneurCountry in 2008 and the publication of Welcome to EntrepreneurCountry in 2012, is what happens to the rest of the world? Surely it can’t be that 25 tech platform businesses in Palo Alto clean up and everyone else goes bankrupt. So therefore?

What we realised an economic cycle ago and through our work in the tech industry for 25 years and with our portfolio companies for 15, is that the winners of this digital age are the companies who understand their role in the ecosystem and are organising the economics for it.

What Ariadne also knows:

• Disruptive tech happens at the beginning of a 6o to 80 year cycle; the second half of that cycle is when the establishment embraces it to get to the future and become part of the new common sense (Carlotta Perez)
• Transaction costs which corporations had been set up to aggregate are now possible at the individual level (Ronald Coase)
• Giving people assets drives them to create prosperity (Hernando de Soto)
• Early Adopters are critical to establishing the new common sense (Geoff Moore)
• In order to lead your industry, you don’t want to compete well, you want to create a new market space (Renee Mauborgne & Chan Kim)

We tie all of this up combined with our deep understanding of how companies we’ve advised and invested in have won over the past 15 years:

First Tuesday – connected a continent’s entrepreneurs with financiers
Espotting – first Pay Per Click business globally
Zopa – first P2P business globally
Monitise – created an economic model for mobile banking
Skype – enabled individuals with P2P connectivity
SpinVox – all B2B businesses are now B2C2B
SoundOut – the obvious goliath to go to market with tends to resist; reach out to all natural allies
BeatThatQuote – individuals should have an economic upside in the use of their data

EntrepreneurCountry enables mid to large enterprises to become Ecosystem Economics companies – enabling them to win in the digital age.

Because of the technology discontinuity that networks and exponential growth bring, you can’t get to the future from the present in a straight line. EntrepreneurCountry enables Goliaths to airlift themselves over the discontinuity into the future to iterate around hypotheses about their business and their industry. By testpiloting these hypotheses in the EC marketspace, they can create product / market fit for their new businesses.

Case Studies

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Digital Ecosystems

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Financial Services

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Smart Cities and Transportation

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United Kingdom

Scotland: The new hub for entrepreneurs

Written by Julie Meyer on Thursday, 18 February 2016.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are both great cities with considerable charm. And they both have a growing entrepreneurship ecosystem and financial services nous.

London: The new hub for entrepreneurs

Written by Julie Meyer on Friday, 11 December 2015.

I arrived in London on 24 July, 1998 with a work permit and an attitude, knowing that what was happening in Palo Alto, where I hail from, would hit like a tsunami on these shores.

Can India become a digital superpower?

Written by Nitin Dahad on Monday, 26 October 2015.

Last month (September 2015) saw a wave of euphoria about India as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited and wooed the who’s who of Silicon Valley. He seemed to have rock star status as many of the CEOs of Silicon Valley tried to jump on the India bandwagon to raise their profile among India’s 1.2 billion plus population. But on a serious note, is all this interest going to translate into something bigger, in terms of triggering an innovation ecosystem that enables India to become a new digital superpower?

The Future of Financing Creative Artists

Written by Glede Jung on Tuesday, 20 October 2015.

I wrote the book The Business of Creativity because of this disconnect that exists between the creative industry as a whole and the investment sector and also in some ways the tech community - Michael Jacobsen

What we believe at Ariadne Capital in our 15th Year - Digital Enablers not Digital Disrupters

Written by Julie Meyer on Monday, 12 October 2015.

Our Investment Philosophy

Introduction—what we believe

Scarcely a day goes by without news of profound transformation in some part of the economy. Industries that thought themselves immune from the convulsions brought about by technological opportunity are, one by one, being challenged and face major reorganisation: from beer to banking; from the taxi that meets you at the airport to the room you spend the night in.

How to become a permanent agenda item on the Google Board of Directors Meeting

Written by Julie Meyer on Wednesday, 23 September 2015.

And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them - The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli CHAPTER VI


Central European trade missions head to UK

Written by Glede Jung on Tuesday, 22 September 2015.

Central European startups are visiting the United Kingdom to build strategic business partnerships and strengthen commercial ties under the Ready to Go programme. Led by Australian-born Michael Jacobsen, these trade missions are designed to build a two-way traffic relationship beneficial to all parties involved. These early stage companies from a wide range of sectors hope to identify potential UK partners and expand their distribution reach, the core value proposition of Ecosystem Economics.

Retailers Fearing The Inevitable Cyber Breach

Written by Clara Hosshage on Tuesday, 15 September 2015.

In January this year The British Retail Consortium (BRC) reported that crime in the retail industry is at its highest level since BRC started collecting data in 2004. Shoplifting is still ranked as the number one crime, but in recent years there has been an increase in cyber-crime and online-theft in the retail sector, with a year-on-year increase of 30% between 2013 and 2014.

Symantec Security reports that the retail industry is the industry liable for the largest number of identities thefts in 2014, accounting for almost 60% of all identity crime. In most cases, financial information, such as credit or debit card details, are affected by intrusions.

Addressing Dwindling Security in The Communications Industry

Written by Tilly Balfe on Monday, 14 September 2015.

Voice security within the communications industry is more paramount than ever due to the increasing dependence on telecom companies from businesses, consumers and the government. The invasion into Chancellor Merkel’s communications in October 2013 highlights the consequences of inadequate protection. Furthermore, as the fastest growing sector in the world it also qualifies as the most vulnerable to breach risks and cybercriminals, weighing heavily in the wake of global institution AT&T being attacked in April 2014, when over 500 customers experienced a data breach over the period of a fortnight. Orange France were also targeted in the same month, when hackers stole personal data from 1.3 million clients.

New Era for Corporate Venture Capital

Written by Igor Sill on Monday, 14 September 2015.

It would appear that US innovation has never been brighter. Global corporations are spending in excess of $650 billion on R&D annually, most of it on technology advancements. The top technology R&D expenditures are from worldwide corporate giants including Samsung ($13.8B), VW ($13.5B), Intel ($10.6B), Microsoft ($10.4B), Roche ($10B), Novartis ($9.9B), Toyota ($9.1B), Johnson & Johnson ($8.2B), Google ($8B), Merck ($7.5B), IBM ($6.2), Cisco ($5.9), Oracle ($5.2B), APPLE ($4.4B) and HP ($3.5B) representing a cumulative increase of $9 Billion over the previous year, according to Fortune magazine.

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