October 20, 2005

Dominate Design

Ben Hyde on Dominate Design

Dominate design is a term of art among the folks who think about innovation. Dominate designs emerge in design spaces as innovators progressively “mine-out” the options in the design space. Once the dominate designs emerge it becomes possible for complementary activities to gather around them - i.e. they create new design spaces. I like the term because it avoids calling these the best designs. The emergence of dominate designs is extremely contextual and path dependent. Owning the dominate design, being the early into that part of the design space, and encouraging the emergance of the compilmentary stuff is all part and parcel of the gold rush in and around one of these design spaces. Careful though. It is rare tha a single dominate design emerges from a design space; more typically a bloom of designs emerges. How skewed the user’s adoption of these designs turns out varies. There are, for example, a handful of dominate designs for operating systems. Typical power-law stuff.

Hadn't come across this term before. But it might be useful.
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