thoughts on ecosystems and brands

This is, for the most part, a repost from my water blog. Obviously, I thought it was worth mentioning twice.

I  just finished one of the better books I’ve ever read: Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson. The book presents 7 parameters that facilitate idea creation:

1. The adjacent possible. Ideas within communities thrive on each other.

2. Liquid networks. This medium makes innovation easier. Encourage social flow not solitude.

3. The Slow Hunch. Ideas develop slowly over time.

4. Serendipity. In what appears lost, ideas can be found.

5. Error. Failing fast leads to wins.

6. Exaption. Don’t recreate the wheel. Borrow.

7. Platforms.  Ideas are built and spread on foundations. These foundations are platforms.

Although I generally agree with these seven, there was one reoccurring notion throughout the book that I found especially thought provoking. Ecosystem Design.

Johnson applied ecosystem analogies for our societies, cultures, and markets. For example, the dynamics of a corral reef mimic our cities.  I’ve recently developed similar thoughts in relation to ecosystems and markets. I’d argue a market is an ecosystem. The same structure and dynamics of species and their environment present in ecosystems, also exist with people, companies, brands, and their markets. I’m still flushing out the details of this idea. Call it a slow hunch.

Specifically, the idea of  brands and brand interactions in ecosystems is most intriguing. This isn’t the first time I’ve pondered this question, so I thought I’d throw it back out there.

Any thoughts?