EP 48 – Unpacking Innovation Ecosystems with Ron Adner

EP 48 – Unpacking Innovation Ecosystems with Ron Adner

Episode Stream



In episode 48 of the Most Awesome Founder Podcast, we introduce Ron Adner, Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He is one of world’s leading thinkers and an award-winning researcher. he is also an advisor to companies around the world and the founder of the Strategy Insight Group.

In this episode, Ron shares his research and experience with us on innovation ecosystems and throws light on how today’s businesses need to approach value creation to build great ecosystems around their business. He argues how ecosystem-based strategies have alignment at the core and how today’s leaders need to have a coalition-first approach. He also throws light on the concept of minimal viable ecosystems and how today’s startups especially need to pay more attention to their ecosystem dynamics to increase their chances of success.

You can access all the chapters discussed in the episode as well as other amazing literature at ronadner.com.

Hope you enjoy listening to the episode as much as we did producing it.


(00:49) Intro of Ron Adner

(02:43) Ron Adner’s story and journey

(06:56) Are there examples out there where execution was great but ecosystems were not ready for the innovation?

(10:46) What is an innovation ecosystem?

(16:31) How should managers approach alignment-based strategies?

(20:02) What kind of businesses should adopt an innovation ecosystem approach?

(26:21) How should one use ecosystem tools and frameworks for their startup?

(27:42) What is a minimum viable ecosystem?

(32:50) Did any business successfully execute ecosystem carryover?

(37:54) The concept of Egosystem

(41:02) Ron’s thoughts on Meta’s metaverse moves. Is it an egosystem?

(46:27) Are these tools relevant for the real world of building startups?

(49:26) The ecosystem strategy and importance of tools

(56:16) How companies can defend their position using the ecosystem approach?

(64:27) What advice would Ron give to the next generation of entrepreneurs?

(69:23) Ron’s book recommendations

(71:10) What’s cycling on Ron’s playlist?