First, great article regarding ecosystems.
While there are numerous challenges regarding timing estimates of a new disruptive technology, there are some tried and true models. One very generalize rule of thumb is the time it takes to get to 1% market penetration, is equal to the time it will take to get to 10% market penetration, which is then equal to the time it will take to get to 50% market penetration. So if it takes 3 years to get to 1%, it will take another 3 to get to 10%, (total of 6 years to 10%), and then it will take another 6 years to get to 50%. These rough estimates that align with the S-model and are also supported by the mathematical prediction models such as Bass, and Fisher-Pry.
The ecosystem is an example of one of the fundamentals that drive the rate of adoption which is compatibility with what currently exists. However, compatibility also includes behaviors, values, belief, knowledge, infrastructure (a.k.a. ecosystem), business models, etc. Complex systems change slowly, so the more aligned an offering is with what currently exists, the faster the rate of adoption will be. This is also why true "disruption" is a market phenomenon and not just the work of a single company or product.
Bottom line is the key to pushing a disruptive innovation is planning the transition path from the current state to the future state. The greater the gap, the bigger the change, and the slower the diffusion will be. This is why one of the things I look at with clients that have an innovative product that stalls at market launch is what type of changes and modifications can be made to provide an "on-ramp" by making it more compatible with what currently exists.
For more background on the topics, I recommended the seminal work "Diffusion of Innovations" by Everett Rodgers. He does a great job in laying out the dynamics that impact adoption rates, and the series of books written by Geoffrey Moore (i.e. Crossing the Chasm, etc) which ties stages of adoption to marketing activities. One of the things Moore points out in his work is the need to directly offer certain related services in the early days of a product, that you will know you will eventually move to channel partners as the market matures.
"If I see further than others, it is only because I stand on the shoulders of giants." – Issac Newton
Daniel E. Lewis, PhD, PE, PMP, NPDP
President – Product Acuity Consulting