The Development of the Hydrothermal Vent (HTV) Ecosystem Model

Abstract Chapter 5 explores the extent to which the Internet can be considered to be an ecosystem in its own right. It seeks to develop an alternative and more suitable ICT ecosystem taxonomy for analysing modern Internet-based companies and identifies a new source of competitive advantage, namely: data, information, knowledge and innovation.

The chapter uses a deep-sea hydrothermal vent (HTV) ecosystem model and attempts to establish how far the disciplines of business strategy and biology can provide an effective framework for analogical reasoning. Particularly, relevant areas of focus in the analogy include the nature of hydrothermal vents and their geological characteristics; the trophic structure of the deep-sea vent ecosystem and the processes of reproduction and dispersal and how these relate to the ICT sector.

Keywords Chemosynthesis • Black smokers • Vent chimneys • Tube worms • Bacteria • Trophic structure

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