Why “Ecosystem” and “Democratisation” are fishy words in business

Szpylbert cartoon showing fish bones

Your cartoonist sometimes gets to go to places where business strategy is discussed. Always listening carefully, Szpylbert developed a pet hate for two particularly misleading words: “ecosystem” and “democratisation”. Both are supposed to somehow sound inviting and empowering – but in reality their meaning is very different.

Ecosystems are created by big businesses to get small companies to do risky things or stuff that they think is not worthwhile. Naturally, that includes the possibility of involuntary exit from the ecosystem, a.k.a. “death”. With survival being a struggle, an ecosystem is not a happy place!

Now for democratisation. This is normally suggested to entice amateur usership of technology or something without a proper value proposition, e.g. low-cost 3D printing or blogging. Of course, there is no real commercial opportunity here for the dilettante – and the money is made elsewhere. If there’s a gold rush, don’t join it. Sell shovels!


Advice for wannabe 3D printers

Szpylbert cartoon about three types of 3d printingSzpylbert has now tasked his most trusted associate with dispensing expert technology advice on 3D Printing, or as the community calls it, Additive Manufacturing. This time, it’s valuable insight into the reality of low cost 3D Printing. For the analyst’s full report, which unfortunately won’t be free of charge, please contact ferdinand@szpylbertassociates.com.