No enterprise can out-innovate all potential competitors, suppliers and external knowledge sources. Knowledge frontiers are moving too fast. In almost every major discipline, up to 90% of relevant knowledge has appeared in the last 15 years. Terabytes of data (each approximating Shakespeare’s collected works) pour into every discipline’s or industry’s database daily.This requires a transformation of cherished ideas about, first, strategic analysis and positioning; and second, approaches to gathering and validating information for executives. The self-sufficient enterprise is becoming anachronistic. Each organization is part of a matrix of merging and evolving ideas and opportunities. To realize its own potential, a company must engage external knowledge centers through well-developed alliances. Leading companies focus less on positioning and more on patterns of people and institutions they work with — or against.In science-based industries, puddles of knowledge bubble all around. Even the best scientists can’t tell what any individual bubble will do. Many look interesting. Some energetic ones interact with bubbles in other puddles to become major opportunities. Some evaporate in the chaos of development. How do companies spot and manage promising opportunities? They do it as surfers ride waves or scientists conduct research.