There are two recognizable patterns of development for technology companies in 2018, with most corporations being a hybrid model of one or another. Nonetheless, some are closer in their approach to the ecosystem model, where technology giants aim to become an operating system of one’s life. Others are closer to the model of infrastructural dominance, building solutions that will thread the future of industries.
Ecosystem approach of e-commerce giants focused on empowering users
The ecosystem approach is a fairly straightforward one and leads to market consolidation and concentration of data, money, and market power within a closed loop of highly integrated, tightly connected platforms. Ecosystems tend to have a customer/user at the center while operating a tight ship of merchants/vendors at the back end to serve the customer within their ecosystem.
The barriers to entry into the ecosystem for the customer/user are virtually non-existent, while the cost of exit is often revolting enough to remain loyal. It is largely due to highly atomized competition that cannot offer a comprehensive enough solution in one place, inconveniencing the user to sign up for a disparity of unconnected services.
An overwhelming grip on user behavior in ecosystems is reached through having an answer to every question the user may have any moment – search for products/services, payment for a product/service online and offline, calendar, contacts book, P2P payments, recommendation engines, news feeds, social platforms, etc. Comprehensiveness and complete integration of the elements of the ecosystem keep competition outside while locking the user inside.
Amazon, Alibaba, and Apple are all close to the ecosystem end of the spectrum. Amazon, in particular, is one aggressive wave. The company wants to be everything for everyone, with its Prime program being a masterpiece of marketing and commerce. Amazon does have a business-focused side, but the company is more focused on wrapping its world of services around the user.
Facebook is more of a mixed case, containing hallmarks of the second model. While Facebook does operate a thought-through integrated network of social platforms, recently, the company started pivoting towards commercial focus, enabling businesses to reach their potential customers on the social network and interact with them through Messenger chatbots, for example.
It’s inevitable for ecosystems to collide in the long term because everyone runs to the point of having the same spectrum of solutions to empower an individual. Ecosystems aim to become the ultimate operating system of one’s life, touching and enabling a wide range of activities.
Infrastructural dominance focused on empowering businesses and entrepreneurs
Another interesting strategy involves the ability to become a universal connective tissue across industries. IBM and Google are probably some of the most vivid examples, but UPI can also be seen using that strategy.
One of the most important hallmarks of the strategy involving an infrastructural dominance is the ability to cover