Sunday, May 28, 2006


Emergent Ecosystems in Practice: ipod + Yahoo Local

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the network era is emergent ecosystems: linkages formed as third party use APIs from one or more entities to create new innovations without any formal governance mechanisms. This is different from designed ecosystems through formal alliances, cross-equity linkages and agreements.

Here's an example of emergent ecosystem in action using Apple ipod and Yahoo local. This allows you to get directions on your ipod based on Yahoo Local (Maps).

How it works?
The website is very simple to use. Just like using Yahoo Maps, you would enter your starting and destination address in the corresponding online form. Once you have entered your start and destination information, simply click on “Verify Directions” to make sure that you’ll be given correct and accurate driving directions. Your very last step is to click on the button “Get Directions” and the website will prompt you to download a ZIP* file that contains your driving directions. All that’s left to do is to make sure you extract the ZIP file to your iTunes Photo Folder, connect your iPod to your computer, sync your iPod and then you’re ready to roll!

This program is easy to use for any event when you are in the need for driving directions to any location in the US or Canada, and best of all, it’s FREE!

The ipod+Nike announcement earlier was about designed ecosystem with both parties joining together in a common press release. Here, the website clearly states that "Yahoo! Maps and Apple iPod are in no way affiliated with this service."

I am confident that it will be just a matter of days before we see this functionality emerge using Google Maps. This is the power of innovation in emergent ecosystems.

The management message: In addition to mapping your designed ecosystems, understand the pattern of emergent ecosystems.

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