According to Marcos Aguiar, senior partner and managing director at BCG Sao Paulo, Brazil, 7 out of the 10 most valuable companies in the world, are ecosystems. When there is no trust or if the level of trust falls in an ecosystem, participants are less likely to cooperate and frictions occur, harming their performance. Competence is by far the most prevalent trust driver in the ecosystems he studied, among others companies like Sony, Amazon, Handy, HopSkipDrive, Spotify, BaseCamp, Blix, Tile, Match, Ant Group’s Trusple, Doordash, TaskRabbit and Apple. There are tools you can use to reinforce trust, or to substitute for trust, which is what the BCG Henderson Institute identified in the successful ecosystems they studied, the “7 tools for building a business people trust”.
As of 2020, 7 out of the world’s 10 most valuable companies in the world, are ecosystems. So people may not be familiar with the actual concept, but it’s actually part of our presence and certainly our future. And this new business model is disrupting more and more industries.
About trust in ecosystems
I think it’s important to define what we mean by trust because these three elements is what we call the basis of trust. And we define trust as the expectation that a target agent, trustee, upon which trust is placed, will deliver on a promise and or behave according to role expectations or agreed shared norms. And here there are some elements which are important in what we mean by a target agent can be a person, but can also be an entity, a business, an institution or a piece of technology, a platform. The delivery on a promise is a commitment. It can be a value proposition, the company purpose, and it can be explicit or implicit. And what we mean by behavior here is usually related from a systems perspective, with cooperation, usually with a trusterer and the expectation is also important and has to be linked to a decision and action as opposed to simply a hope on the truster side. And why this is relevant, because now that you establish it, there is a question of how you break what drives people to engage in those sorts of situations in an ecosystem, for instance.
About the company HopSkipdrive and trust
HopSkipDrive is a kind of UBER for kids. A few moms in the US set up this company to actually serve parents who wanted to hire a driver, a reliable one, to pick their kids up from school, drive them around and so on, you can imagine how much trust you need for that kind of value proposition.
Because in order for parents to be to be comfortable, you need to systemically provide the reassurance required in order for the first usage, for instance, to be effective. And what they did was to incorporate those reassurance which actually exceeded the US state regulatory standards for transportation network companies, in order to try to convince parents that a stranger can meet and then subsequently drive their elementary school age child around town after school. And it’s not an easy proposition. But the HopSkipDrive team embedded trust in their ecosystem, which is that most important thing about this example, using many of the tools we outlined in our research, allowing the company to overcome that immense obstacle that you can imagine that it is to select the caregiver on wheels, if you like. Not coincidentally, HopSkipDrive is an iconic example of a successful ecosystem and creating those dynamics we mentioned and the network effects which are really crucial, uh, critical for the success of any ecosystem.
Listen to the podcast interview on all major podcast platforms or here on this webpage under “podcasts”.
Here is the transcript of the full interview:Transcript-interview-Marcos-Aguiar_16082021
All podcasts are being audio-edited by Job Dijk of Steigerstudios in Veenendaal, The Netherlands