The ‘Hydrothermal Vent (HTV) Ecosystem Model’ has now been explained and analysed in significant detail. The chapter has explored the dynamic nature of hydrothermal vent ecosystems and how they are formed through chemo- synthetic processes rather than via photosynthetic energy sources; thereby resulting in faster growth and development (Gold 1999). The trophic structure and behaviour patterns of the organisms were also explained and ranged from symbiotic relationships with data to predatory growth strategies (Martin and Schwab 2012). The reproduction and dispersal process was also analysed in some detail (Tyler and Young 1999) and how this varied dependent upon the organisms within the ecosystem. Analogical comparisons were also made between the mineral-rich bacteria generated by the HTV ecosystem and data, information and innovation essential to its survival.
The model has also provided an alternative approach to the analysis of modern high technology companies and the ICT sector. It used examples and theories from the biological sciences (Van Dover 2000) to draw analogies with the ICT sector that is in stark contrast to models used to analyse traditional brick-and-mortar industries and firms based on the classical science approach to strategy that were covered in Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. The hydrothermal vent ecosystem (HTV) model also provides insights into theories discussed in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 particularly relating to chaos and complexity theory (Pascale 1999; McMillan and Carlisle 2007) as well as core concepts from platform and ecosystem research (Moore 1996: Gawer 2009; Choudary 2015).
Chapter 6 will analyse the hydrothermal vent ecosystem model and its implications for strategy in greater detail. It will consider if the model helps to illustrate whether the Internet is an ecosystem in its own right.