Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Can I just do Settlers and Town Planners as a Bimodal?

tl;dr : yes ... BUT.

Continuing on from the post on Bimodal, I was asked "Can I just do Settlers and Town Planners?"

Let us understand what that means. You're going to focus on product improvement and the industrialisation of a component but forgo the uncharted exploration of the novel and new. Well, there's no reason why you can't do this but it does means that you going to have to rely on the Settlers extending into the outside ecosystem to discover those novel and new components which at a later stage you will want to turn into products and finally industrialise (see figure 1). If you don't do this then you have no future pipeline.

Figure 1 - Focus on Settlers and Town Planners

For reference, I've given a fuller list of characteristics of the different roles in figure 2.

Figure 2 - Characteristics (you'll have to expand)

Ok, the problem with pushing all the novel and new to the outside market (i.e. taking an outside-in approach) is you'll be in a race with others to discover future patterns of success. This is not necessarily a bad thing unless :-

1) Everyone is trying to do this and there isn't some other system to exploit (see "How Much for a Fountain of Youth")

or more likely

2) Someone is playing an ILC ecosystem game against you (or a variant such as Tower & Moat).

I won't go through the ecosystem game, you'll have to read that post but the net effect is they can use their ecosystem as a future sensing engine and the bigger their ecosystem, the more powerful the effect will be. This means they'll not only have the edge on you but this edge will become larger over time compared to simply trying to scan the market.

So, yes you can just use a Settler & Town Planner structure but you'll need really high levels of situational awareness, ecosystem play, weak signal detection or otherwise you'll be an easy target with nothing in the bag (i.e. novel surprises) and a simple pipeline to choke.