Successful ecosystems encourage cooperation through rewards, or by motivating participants to interact with each other in a positive manner. eBay and Amazon use reputation as an incentive. If you're a seller, and you have a good reputation, you can charge higher prices for your products.
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Many of the successful ecosystems define very well who is allowed in and who can be kicked out of the platform for bad behavior.
HopSkipDrive does access well. It takes the drivers through a strict background check before they are hired into the platform. They also have a zero tolerance policy, which is superclear to everyone, so drivers know they can be terminated if they are caught illegally using their mobile phones while driving.
Trustworthy ecosystems formalize a relationship with all participants through contracts. If you've ever clicked the box "I agree to the terms and conditions," you signed an ecosystem contract.
Not forced control, but more like a gentle guidance, like an invisible hand nudging you in the right direction. Successful ecosystems shape the behavior of participants so the kind of cooperation required will emerge in the platform. Uber does control well, and it dictates to the driver the best route to take, so the passenger trusts the driver will not take the longer route just to make some more money.
Ecosystems who are trustworthy make past and present behavior visible to everyone participating in the platform. And that's the reason why you feel a pit in your stomach if you've ever booked an Airbnb with a host who is new to the platform and doesn't have any reviews yet.
How does the platform handle mishaps or prevent them from happening in the first place? Did you know that LiveAuctioneers, an auctions platform for art, collectibles and antiques, has a broad protection program that guarantees payments on the platform? That's an example of mitigation.
You don't need all the tools to be successful.
So how do you pick? It depends on the kind of ecosystem you design. If interactions among the participants are key, like in most social-media ecosystems, you will require a combination of access, transparency and control in order to be successful.
A few months ago, the world seemed reliable, but now it is changing so fast and has so many unknown dimensions, it can be hard to try and keep up.
Mental models can help us understand the world better, especially during times of confusion. A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. It is a way to simplify complexity and provide direction for our choices.
If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you make plans with someone, be there. Seeing things through is the trademark of a trustworthy person.
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