The 4th Option Junto
#32—Ben Gomes-Casseres: Mastering the Three Rules of Business Combinations

#32—Ben Gomes-Casseres: Mastering the Three Rules of Business Combinations

Ben Gomes-Casseres has worked on partnership strategies for thirty years, as a researcher, teacher, and advisor. A professor at Brandeis University, Ben directs the Asper Center for Global Entrepreneurship. Previously, he was at Harvard Business School and at the World Bank.

Ben has published five books and many articles and case studies on M&A, alliances, and joint ventures, and his views have appeared widely in the business press. Ben helps companies create value from external resources by improving the way they manage partnerships. He holds degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Brandeis. A native of Curaçao, he speaks four languages, and his work can be found at

His newest book is Remix Strategy: The Three Laws of Business Combinations. He also offers two online courses on Linked-In Learning ( “Strategic Partnerships” and “Ecosystems and Platforms.”

In this podcast he shares:

  • Why the future of competition is not firm to firm but rather ecosystem to ecosystem

  • The three rules you must master to win an ecosystem-based competition

  • How to think about the decision of which ecosystems to join, and how much value you can sustainably extract … which by the way has been one of the top questions members of our network of chief strategy officers have be thinking about.

  • __________________________________________________________________________________________

  • -Ben Casseres-Gomes


    Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Ben Gomez + The topic of today’s episode

    2:05—If you really know me, you know that....

    3:10—What is your definition of strategy?

    5:24—Could you tells us more about your concept of "business combinations"?

    6:58—What are the "rules" so to speak about the blurred lines between B2B and B2C in this new ecosystem business environment?

    8:50—Could you describe the difference between an ecosystem and a platform?

    11:28—Could you walk us through the three rules of ecosystems?

    13:16—How does the "pie" get divided so all players get an equal amount of value?

    15:12—Tell us about branding. Can an ecosystem have a brand?

    17:53—Could you tell us a little more about the "one plus one" rule?

    19:38—What do people usually get wrong?

    21:23—How can people follow, find and learn from you?


    Additional Resources:

The 4th Option Junto
The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.