Integrated value chains are nothing new. IBM had one before it started “outsourcing” what turned out to be the future to Microsoft and Intel, Ford had one at¬† centered around the Dearborn factory, from where the company controlled by owning everything from growing the cattle to supply the leather for the T model seats, to the end of the production line, and beyond, and even the Venetian shipyards way back in the 1400’s was an integrated chain.

What has changed are the tools by which we can manage integrated value chains, and the recognition that they do not necessarily need to be controlled by equity, the power of the customer is far more potent.