How to Explore Your Industry's Ecosystem

How to Explore Your Industry's Ecosystem

When a job seeker conducts their job search, they need to decide which industry they want to work in. When searching within an industry they may choose a career that is familiar to them. What many job seekers don't realize, however, is that an industry ecosystem exists which connects interacting organizations and individuals.

In this article, we will dive into the ins and outs of an industry ecosystem. We will find out what they are and how you can recognize which industry you're in. Following this, you can find out how to explore the industry ecosystem that you have chosen to be in.

What is an Industry Ecosystem?

In 1993, James Moore developed the concept of an industry ecosystem. In his study, he suggests that an economic community is supported by the foundation of interacting organizations and individuals. The economic community he speaks of produces goods and services of value to customers, who are themselves members of the ecosystem.

Other members of the ecosystem include suppliers, lead producers, competitors, and other stakeholders. Over time, these members coevolve their capabilities and roles within the industry ecosystem. When this happens, they tend to align themselves with directions set by one or more central organizations.

These central organizations are industry ecosystem leaders, and they can change over time. The function of the industry ecosystem leader is valued by the community as it enables members to move toward shared visions to align their investments. When they do this, they can find mutually supportive roles to benefit them and the industry as a whole.

To break it down simply, ecosystems are relationships. They are a network where a complex web of people, with conflicting agendas, operate with the intent to develop and grow. Connections within an ecosystem take time to form, which means that they are constantly evolving.

Within these connections, however, you will find that there are pathways between organizations. The pathways you find depend on where you stand within the industry ecosystem. As this is the case, in your job search you need to find out which industry you are interested in.

What's Your Industry?

When you conduct a job search, you may find that most jobs are at the intersection of two or three industries. To find the intersection of an organization, look at what the function/product of the organization is. You should then note the location of the business, in terms of the building it's housed in and the city or region.

Once you've looked at this, research who the organization's customers are. You should be able to find which industry the organization is in by combining these elements. Once you know the industry, you can begin to explore the industry ecosystem of an organization.

How to Explore Your Industry's Ecosystem

When looking at the industry ecosystem of an organization, you will want to understand:

  • Industry size
  • Growth rate
  • Potential disruptions
  • Top organizations and brands
  • Important cities and regions
  • Total employment
  • Key sectors
  • Companies in your neighborhood
  • Related industries

Gaining this knowledge will help you understand the role an organization plays in its industry ecosystem. To find out data about specific industries, you can use websites such as,, or This will give you the chance to see the general picture of the size of the industry in question, and the organizations operating within them.

An industry ecosystem offers the ability for organizations to dynamically interact with each other through competition and cooperation. This helps them drive sales and survive. Studying which organizations are thriving and which are faltering can help you distinguish who the central organizations are.

As well as this, you can research which new companies have entered the industry ecosystem. To survive, an organization will need to be providing an advantage that is currently lacking in the ecosystem. This can help you learn new ways of addressing needs and desires.

To explore the industry ecosystem of a previous organization you worked at, take a look at your former colleague's career paths. You may find that they have branched out to new areas that are connected to your previous occupation. This is a good marker for finding out which opportunities may be available to you.

Making a Decision for Your Job Search

After exploring your industry's ecosystem, you need to make a decision on which organizations or areas interest you. The organization's that interest you most will most likely be the ones you apply for in your job search. Understanding the role, they play in their industry ecosystem can help you prepare for submitting your resume or for an interview. This is due to your understanding of the wider picture at play.

Written by Career Specialist Feb 01, 2023
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