Just came across Wardley maps. Without oversimplifying the idea too much (His blog “bits or pieces” sets out the ideas in a book-length format) The problem is how to show the map out a company so that you can make plans, devise strategies, communicate, etc. His solution is based on two major axes:
- There is a value chain within a company
- Things naturally evolve from unique to utility
It occurs to me that something similar (not sure what yet) can be done for mapping IP strategies. As should be clear, IP strategy should be aligned with business strategy, and these maps may be a way of showing the strategies.
However, in startup companies value chain within the company is often unclear and the focus of the company is often is protecting critical items on the map.
So, perhaps, the axis of value chain should be replaced by axis of closeness to client – as focus of patents is often on blocking).
Axis of evolution should perhaps relate more to technical gap or perceived ability to bridge the gap.
In Wardley-world, a map must include both position and movement = how things can change. For IP strategy/startups, position can be location in process. movement should indicate how others want to change. Reason need not be commodification. Perhaps we need two levels of detail. one for individual technological elements and one for process elements. one issue is that the change in startups is often a change in the actual components, not just improvement of one, but actually improvement of one to the point that another can be dropped.
Finally, IP strategy is directly aimed against competition, so this needs to be indicated in some way.
Needs more thought…
Bad news is that Wardley seems to be anti-IP.