Hi, I'm Jan König 👋. I'm one of the founders of Jovo, 28 years old, and live in Berlin. < Go back to learn more.

How I use Wardley Maps to prepare for the future

Hi there,

Last week, I wrote about how it can be difficult to find the right balance between focusing on the current moment and future plans. This time I want to write about how I actually try to do the latter.

Planning for the future is difficult. There are so many variables and unknowns like technology breakthroughs, competition, and potential changes in user behavior. And although there are tools like SWOT analysis. I never really liked them, so most strategic thinking was just based on lots of talking and guessing.

Fortunately, Ben Basche introduced me to Wardley Mapping a few months ago.

What is a Wardley Map?

Wardley Mapping is a methodology that is created by Simon Wardley and allows to map a value chain for a user need of a particular service/product.

Below is a very early draft of a value chain for a user/developer who wants to build cross-platform voice apps:

A Wardley Map consists of components that are related to each other. The higher (closer to the user) a component is, the more visible it is. The more a component wanders to the right, the more it becomes a commodity.

The more a component moves to the lower right, the more other components can be built on top of them, sparking new innovation. What I find super fascinating about it: Companies can strategically move components to the right by e.g. open sourcing them, as explained in this talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnFeIt-uaEc


How to get started

I'm still at the very beginning of learning how to map. Here are some resources that helped me:

Want to get into this yourself? I'm always happy to exchange ideas! Let me know if you want to do a mapping session together.

What tools or frameworks are you using?


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