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Working with ecosystems: Ways Utah tech businesses can continue to thrive

When buzzwords about business start to enter the vernacular, it’s sometimes easy to just gloss over them as a trend and nothing more. But one word in now in the lexicon might resonate more than others: the ecosystem.

It’s something that Curt Roberts noticed during a recent investor event. As a Utah startup business leader, he wrote about ecosystems for Utah Business. In that article, he admits that he used the word a lot as well, but never thought too hard about why. It was a comment from an investor on a panel that gave him pause: “Ecosystems conjure up images of decay and death.”

Roberts clearly disagrees, calling the idea of a type of business as an ecosystem as something energetic and full of life instead. “It isn’t just an accurate descriptive term–it may be the most perfect metaphor I’ve heard,” Roberts writes. “If you make your living from this ecosystem–or if you aspire to–understanding a few of its important attributes may prompt creative thinking about how and where you see opportunity.”

From South American jungles to modern Utah cities

There’s a reason perhaps that the word “ecosystem” resonates with Roberts. He writes in the article about his time in Argentina, which is rich in jungle land. He does note that’s a mix of vibrancy and movement with the realization that all of its elements work together to sustain life, including the parts of it that “break down to feed new life. The release of resources is literally required for other life to flourish.”

This is where Roberts’ analogy about the jungles of Argentina merges with the modern tech world of Utah industry. As an example, he talked about a real estate developer in Utah who met with him to discuss ways for his development to become the most appealing to the Beehive State’s tech population.

“They were taking a very intentional, thoughtful approach to what that customer would want, beyond the basic level of housing and amenities,” They were thinking in very visionary terms about adventures and technology experiences for children, remote work environments, and other creative things. It was a case study in how to capitalize on vibrance, even when the company was not in the business of tech.”

To that end, Roberts suggests that any business should take that approach, identifying the big players in an area in order to bolster the Utah ecosystem at large. It helps both larger companies as well as the local businesses that can provides services.

Watch the signs and react in a way to help your business

When it comes to the idea of the breakdown in order to feed that ecosystem, Roberts likens that role to innovators and disruptors in the industry. Such change agents took ideas and resources at companies that didn’t want them and started something of their own, contributing to the overall economy.

“Decay can be discouraging and disruptive, particularly when it results in layoffs and shutdowns,” Roberts writes. “That said, every one of these events, seen through the prism of ecosystem thinking, creates a rainbow of opportunities for newness, inventiveness, and rebirth.”

Remembering how the ecosystem of an economy works can lead to that kind of strengthening of ideas that entrepreneurs and business owners can put into practice now. Roberts asks his readers to be in tune with activities in a specific area like Utah as a starting point.

“Watch, read, attend events, and learn,” Roberts said, “You’ll see opportunity. The tech ecosystem of Utah is creating economic life at an astounding rate. The success stories seem to compound with each passing week. Don’t assume you have to create one of the big names in Utah tech. Think in ecosystem terms, and opportunity will emerge everywhere.”

Utah businesses appreciate the convenience of debit cards

As those opportunities to strengthen your business come to the forefront, you will likely need to find ways to streamline your finances. There’s one resource you can use to make everyday spending easier: a business debit card. First Utah Bank offers one that offers convenience.

There are many advantages to having a debit card dedicated solely to your business. It’s safer than using cash, cheaper and more convenient that using checks, and you are protected from fraud thanks to Visa’s Zero Liability protection. You can also get cash or transfer funds at every First Utah Bank ATM or at the 50,000 MoneyPass ATMs in the U.S.

You can see a list of these locations via the MobiMoney app, which is a part of the debit card program. The app’s functionality allows you to turn your card off or on, view transactions, restrict usage, set spending limits, receiving alerts and notifications, and get account balances.

First Bank Utah has many other programs and services to help businesses. To learn more, go to our website.