Who is Jakob?

Jakob is your friendly neighborhood communication architect. He has a passion for science and stockpiled a few postgraduate degrees in cognitive science, social science and cultural studies while starting a freelance career as a designer with remote work experience all over the world. He invented a few modestly successful visualization concepts that blended his academic background with his design practice and got lucky with the timing.

A career path as a funk-metal fusion rock star was only moderately promising (actually not promising at all) and so Jakob went all in on strategy design. After a few gigs in the English speaking corporate and start-up world he founded his own company: pxi (https://pxi.design) is a design laboratory for communication concepts and technology that powers a boutique strategy consultancy to help clients make better informed decisions.

Jakob is a terrific cook (according to him, but then he drones on about bacon ice cream with hot plum reduction, so you be the judge), terrible liar, and also a current chair of the German association of creatives, Kreative Deutschlands e.V.

Jakob’s session during the event

When analyzing a value chain we (and Wardley Maps) tend to look no further than the consumer or audience as the end point of connecting nodes. But that leaves out potential feedback loops that put pressure on the competitive landscape from beyond the vantage point of the consumer: How do we account for environmental damages or social movements shifting the ground beneath our feet?

One frame to quantify these forces is the concept of “externalities”. We’re not going to dive deep into economic theory. Instead, we will look at externalities as karmic cost that is accrued at each node where the burden of social or economic damages is offloaded to society. I propose that we add a notation layer to our maps that helps us measure such karmic cost as risk of external forces reaching breaking point. That way we can make strategic decisions about externalities burdening our value chain.

We will look at examples where restructuring of the value chain in fashion and food are more than good marketing. They are means of pre-emptively shifting a company to a state where the impending change of the landscape no longer threatens their business case. These companies gain competitive advantage through “antifragility” and “optionality”.

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