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April 25, 2024

Discover the Formula for Repeatable Innovation

By IT Revolution

In their upcoming book, Unbundling the Enterprise: APIs, Optionality, and the Science of Happy Accidents, authors Stephen Fishman and Matt McLarty argue that the world’s most successful companies don’t just get lucky—they have actually learned how to get lucky over and over again. Drawing on decades of experience guiding global enterprises, Fishman and McLarty reveal the methods today’s top companies are using to thrive in the digital economy.

At the core of the book is a powerful framework the authors call “OOOps.” More than just a clever acronym, OOOps represents three key competencies that set apart the most consistently innovative companies:

  1. Optionality: Decomposing monolithic systems and processes into modular, API-enabled capabilities that can be recombined to meet emerging opportunities.
  2. Opportunity: Proactively identifying high-potential value creation opportunities by mapping the exchange of data, products, services, and intangibles across their business ecosystem.
  3. Optimization: Maximizing the impact of digital investments through rapid experimentation, instrumentation, and feedback loops.

What sets Unbundling the Enterprise apart is its foundation in the real-world experiences of over 20 top executives across a wide range of industries. Through engaging storytelling and exclusive interviews, you’ll see:

  • How digital pioneers like Amazon, Google, and Facebook have unbundled their business capabilities to fuel explosive growth and enter new markets.
  • How legacy companies like Coca-Cola, Best Buy, and Cox Automotive have transformed into digital powerhouses by capitalizing on their core competencies.
  • How the 123-year-old industrial conglomerate Anderson Holdings empowered frontline employees to build digital products—without needing to code.
  • How Capital One became an enterprise software provider while still moving the needle on its $28B balance sheet.

The case studies make a compelling argument for the book’s core concepts. At Cox Automotive, modularizing key capabilities allowed rapid integration of acquisitions to create new cross-brand offerings. Coca-Cola used APIs to gather real-time consumer insights that now drive product development. Throughout the book, you’ll find examples from retail, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and public sector organizations.

Most importantly, Unbundling the Enterprise will change how you think about APIs. Fishman and McLarty show that APIs are much more than a technical concern—they are the key to unlocking optionality. By unbundling capabilities into modular, API-enabled building blocks, you set the stage for unforeseen innovations and opportunities.

While much has been written about platforms, ecosystems, and APIs, this book takes a refreshingly pragmatic and people-centric view. The real key to success lies not just in technology but in new ways of working: cross-functional collaboration, decentralized innovation, and a focus on continuously testing and optimizing value exchange.

As Gene Kim said upon reading the book:

Unbundling the Enterprise…blew me away. It is a combination of some of my favorite books: Dr. Carliss Baldwin’s Design Rules and Eric Evans’s Domain Driven Design, with the strategic business insights akin to Good to Great and Reengineering the Corporation.”

Packed with frameworks, examples, and actionable advice, Unbundling the Enterprise provides both inspiration and concrete practices for harnessing the full potential of your people, processes, and digital assets. Whether you’re looking to launch new products, enter new markets, or increase agility, you’ll come away with a proven approach for cultivating the “happy accidents” that define today’s most innovative companies.

Unbundling the Enterprise by Stephen Fishman and Matt McLarty will be published in September 2024 by IT Revolution. This is one book that should be on every business leader’s pre-order list. In today’s fast-moving landscape, you can’t predict the future, but you can prepare to capitalize on whatever opportunities emerge. Unbundling the Enterprise is your treasure map for making your own digital luck.

- About The Authors
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IT Revolution

Trusted by technology leaders worldwide. Since publishing The Phoenix Project in 2013, and launching DevOps Enterprise Summit in 2014, we’ve been assembling guidance from industry experts and top practitioners.

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