Ron Adner. Building strategies for success in an interdependent world.

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Winning the Right Game Glossary of Terms Download
Alignment Structure

The collaborative arrangement of roles, positions, and flows among the partners that participate in creating the value proposition (p. 13)

Classic Disruption

The ‘attack-from-below’ model of competition that highlights substitute threats, especially those presented by entrants who use a different technology to capture industry market share on the basis of ‘good-enough’ offers supported by lower costs and prices. (p. 9)


An ecosystem is defined by the structure through which partners interact to deliver a value proposition to the end consumer (p. 12)

Ecosystem Carryover

The process by which the elements that were developed in the construction of one ecosystem are leveraged to enable the construction of a second ecosystem (p. 75)

Ecosystem Disruption

The interaction that occurs when the introduction of anew value proposition impacts competition across industries, erasing boundaries and overturning structure (p. xi)


An ego-system is defined by the structure of interdependence through which partners interact, where the structure is anchored by a focal actor, rather than a focal value proposition. (p. 137) Contrast with Ecosystem.

Ego-system Trap

The ego-system trap arises when you confuse your ego-system for an ecosystem. It undermines the ability to craft ecosystem strategy because, by presuming centrality, it blinds the focal actor to the challenge of alignment. (p. 137)

Half-life of Relevance

The pace at which the value of a resource declines after it is deployed (p. 131) Contrast with Time Compression Diseconomies.

Minimum Viable Ecosystem (MVE)

“The smallest configuration of activities (and partners) that can create enough evidence of value creation to attract new partners. Because the purpose of the MVE is to attract partners, the key contribution of customers in the MVE stage is not to drive profit, but rather to create evidence to drive partner commitment.
(p. 74).  Contrast with Minimum Viable Product (MVP)”

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The crudest and cheapest product prototype that can garner meaningful consumer feedback, and enable iteration on this feedback, before a firm commits to the ‘real build’ of a commercial product. (p. 84) Contrast with Minimum Viable Ecosystem (MVE)

Staged Expansion

The order in which an additional partner or activity should be brought on board beyond the Minimum Viable Ecosystem (MVE). Staged expansion is the logic for why Partner B is added second rather than third—it must be because having Partner B in place will facilitate bringing on Partner C. (p. 74)

Time Compression Diseconomies

The extent to which a course of action becomes costlier (less efficient) as it becomes more rushed (p. 131) Contrast with Half-life of Relevance.

Unknown Knowns

Information that was available at the start of the strategy process, but inadequately framed within the larger context. (p. 30)

Value Architecture

A value architecture is defined by the elements that are brought together to create the value proposition. (p. 14)

Value Elements

The concepts that underlie the firm’s own perception of the benefit that the value proposition will deliver to the end consumer [via the value architecture]. (p. 14)

Value Inversion

The dynamic whereby the continued improvement of a complement/complementor beyond a certain point reverses the synergistic relationship between the focal offer/firm and its complements/complementors. In contrast to classic disruption, where a rival becomes ‘good enough,’ here it is the complementor that becomes ‘too good.’ (p. 27)

Value Proposition

A value proposition is defined by the benefit that the end consumer is supposed to receive from your efforts. (p. 11)

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