The Sacred Myths Of The Platform Economy

Ted Schadler
Vice President, Principal Analyst
May 16, 2018

How do you “Earn Your Place In The Platform Economy?” The short answer is: Start with a real customer problem, not ecosystem envy. Forget everything you know about platform businesses… most of it is a myth. And it’s a terrible recipe for building one.

  • Myth #1: Every platform business is a marketplace. Reality: Every platform business starts with a killer app for customers. Some earn marketplace status. (Picture below on this one.)
  • Myth #2: There are only 2 or 3 platform business models. Reality: There are as many platform business models as there are actual business models.
  • Myth #3: Platform economies are always winner–takes–all. Reality: In most industries, platform businesses will fight for share in different parts of the value chain: distribution, production, supply.
  • Myth #4: If you build a platform, developers and customers will come. Reality: Every day you must earn the trust and investment of customers and developers by solving their immediate problems.

Ping me if you want to learn more. Nigel Fenwick and I have identified three practices you need to build a successful platform business together with the blueprint for using them:

  1. Integrate forward to embed services into your customer’s world.
  2. Maintain a clearheaded commitment to commercialize services via APIs.
  3. Embrace the stepwise approach pioneered by the software industry.


Related Posts