It’s what we find when we strip out the marketing, packaging, logos and copywriting. It is the essence of what you do. It’s also usually a strong indicator of the source of competitive advantage.

It is for precisely this reason that we have mastered the art of embezzling it behind layers and layers of marketing fluff. We do not want our competitors to understand what makes us different until we secure it’s sustainability. Our customers don’t really care what it is, they receive the benefit of the end product.

The rub comes in when we look to create collaborative eco-systems. The value of collaboration and co-creation lies not in your finished product or sales message. We try to swing it this way in the hopes that we benefit from collaborations but find mediocre value.

The truth is that eco-systems work on core competencies. They only work when we expose our soft underbellies to the partners we hope to leverage. Trust is key.

So perhaps we need to grow in our ability to trust, or perhaps the market is not ready to run on eco-systems just yet.

*A first mover advantage is evident.

Hedi Alija

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