From Ecosystem (1935) to Ecosystem-Led Growth (2023)

by | Sep 29, 2023

From Ecosys­tem (1935) to Ecosys­tem-Led Growth (2023).
Some inter­est­ing insights about the his­to­ry and devel­op­ment of the term.

The term was first used in 1935 by British botanist Arthur Tans­ley. The term was coined by Arthur Roy Clapham, who came up with the word at Tans­ley’s request to come up with a word to “denote the phys­i­cal and bio­log­i­cal com­po­nents of an envi­ron­ment con­sid­ered in rela­tions.”

Busi­ness Ecosys­tem:
James Moore first coined it in an influ­en­tial arti­cle, “Preda­tors and Prey: A New Ecol­o­gy of Com­pe­ti­tion,” in the Har­vard Busi­ness Review pub­lished in 1993. He defined it as fol­lows (short): “An eco­nom­ic com­mu­ni­ty sup­port­ed by a foun­da­tion of inter­act­ing orga­ni­za­tions and individuals—the organ­isms of the busi­ness world.”

Greg Sarafin (EY) added in his arti­cle “What busi­ness ecosys­tem means and why it mat­ters,” pub­lished in 2021,
the fol­low­ing def­i­n­i­tion: “A busi­ness ecosys­tem is a pur­pose­ful busi­ness arrange­ment between two or more enti­ties (the mem­bers) to cre­ate and share in col­lec­tive val­ue for a com­mon set of cus­tomers. Every busi­ness ecosys­tem has par­tic­i­pants, and at least one mem­ber acts as the orches­tra­tor of the par­tic­i­pants. All mem­bers in a busi­ness ecosys­tem, whether orches­tra­tors or par­tic­i­pants, have their brands present in the val­ue propo­si­tions.”

Ecosys­tem Led-Growth (ELG):
Accord­ing to Part­ner­hub®, the term was coined by Allan Adler with the mean­ing: “Sim­i­lar to prod­uct-led growth; it implies the core growth strat­e­gy and exe­cu­tion begins and ends with your ecosys­tem — inte­gra­tions and var­i­ous part­ner types.”

Final­ly, Bob Moore of Cross­beam pro­found­ly describes the con­cept of ELG in his book, “Ecosys­tem-Led Growth — How your part­ner ecosys­tem becomes your com­pa­ny’s largest, most effi­cient source of growth.” He stress­es the ris­ing impor­tance for busi­ness­es to strate­gi­cal­ly uti­lize their ecosys­tems for growth.

- Check out the ELG Alliance:
- Pub­lic Part­ner­ship Glos­sary: