progress-value diamond


The progress-value diamond is fundamental to exploiting the progress economy. It’s where we identify the progress being sought (by seekers and externalities) as well as the progress an enterprise is offering to help with.

And from there we can systematically innovate by altering the match.

Let’s break it down into the two components – progress sought and progress offered.

progress sought

First we have the progress being sought by the seeker. We call this the progress sought. And it comes in 3 flavours: functional, non-functional and contextual. It should be abstract from solutions in order to minimise short-sightedness (the marketing myopia of Levitt).

Whilst it is sufficient, though weak, to think only in terms of functional progress, it is better to additionally understand the non-fuctional progress being sought. And stronger still if our understanding of progress sought captures all 3 flavours of progress. At this strongest point the progress economy reveals Job to be done theory (as put forward separately by Christensen and Ulwick).

progress offered

Second we have the progress that an enterprise is specifically offering to hep with – the progress offered. This comes in the same 3 flavours: functional, non-functional and contextual.

What is special about the progress offered is that it should align with the progress sought. But, it may be less, equal, or more.

offering less progress

An enterprise may chose to offer help with less progress than that being sought. Why? Well, it boils down to making a decision on what they feel is sufficient progress offered in order to capture a market. And this may come from a “cost” motive. That is to say, the enterprise understands the progress sought but believes that it can attract sufficient market by offering to help with less, since it is requiring less service credits (see discussion on price [add link]).

Alternatively, the enterprise may be taking a disruptive innovation approach – as defined by Christensen in The Innovator’s Dilemma. Where they challenge incumbents by entering at the bottom of the market (i.e. progress offered is “sufficient”) and then aim to progressively move upwards.

offering more progress

An enterprise may decide to offer help with making more progress than being sought. This is, in general, a differentiation move.

offering “core” plus more (different) progress

Here is where the progress economy reveals Kim and Mauborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy. By offering a “core” part of progress sought plus progress that might not be directly sought we start searching for blue oceans (creating markets).


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