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Building Business Ecosystems Series: #1—Tiffani Bova

Building Business Ecosystems Series: #1—Tiffani Bova

*Note to listeners* This episode is part of a special sub-series on business ecosystems.

Tiffani Bova is the chief growth evangelist at Salesforce and the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book GROWTH IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices that Will Make or Break Your Business.

Tiffani has been named to the latest Thinkers50’s list of the world’s top management thinkers and is a welcomed guest on Bloomberg, BNN, Cheddar, MSNBC, and Yahoo Finance, among others. She also contributes her thinking to publications including Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Entrepreneur, Quora, Thrive, among others.

She is a change-maker who’s thought-provoking and forward-thinking insights have made her a frequent guest on a variety of industry-leading podcasts and live broadcasts.

Tiffani Bova began her career as a sales, marketing and customer service executive for startups and Fortune 500 companies where she was recognized as being one of the first to develop a robust go-to-market model for cloud-based solutions and indirect channel strategies. This experience brought her to Salesforce where she became global growth evangelist, driving customer success through a vast network of customer and partner ecosystems. She has consistently been a leader in witnessing, understanding and helping shape the relationship with ecosystems across various organizations. In this discussion, Tiffani shares her insights on:

In this podcast, she shares:

  • What defines an ecosystem, and why it’s more common than you may think

  • The history of ecosystems, as she witnessed them on the frontlines, and how the internet and digital technology have accelerated their prevalence

  • A practical set of steps and questions to decide if an ecosystem is right for your company, where to draw value from it, and deciding how it will help close your gaps

  • The importance of putting the customer first when making the decision to join an ecosystem

  • The different types of relationships you can develop with partners in an ecosystem

  • How ecosystems can become a significant part of your profitability—and why this is critical to your success


"So, it has really been this interesting shift that kind of 2000, this chasm was crossed around opening up ecosystems to different kinds of partners as well, the opportunity to reach different kinds of customers in new ways through new channels."

-Tiffani Bova


  • Episode Timeline:

    00:00—Introducing Tiffani + The topic of today’s episode

    1:58—What are your thoughts on the future of ecosystem-based competition?

    5:28—How partnerships in ecosystems are different than traditional business partnerships

    7:03—How the internet has changed ecosystems by connecting different players to customers

    8:17—Are there more ecosystem-based companies now?

    9:57—What are sources of competitive advantage of key success factors that companies need to add to their strategic toolkit in light of ecosystems becoming more prevalent?

    15:54—What can you tell us about ecosystem players that just join an ecosystem, vs. have to do a lot of the heavy lifting to build it?

    21:29—What are the first steps in evaluating how to enter an ecosystem?

    23:00—Could you tell us about organizations that have started organizing themselves like ecosystems internally?

    28:46—Thinking of how to build ecosystems regardless of your business or industry

    30:09—The importance of collecting customer feedback


  • Additional Resources:

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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.