Platform Revolution Takes Centre Stage (literally) at MIT

A few weeks ago, MIT held its celebrated (and increasingly relevant) MIT Platform Strategy Summit conference, much to our excitement. The keynote speaker this year? Ex-IBM CEO and founder and current chairman of the CGE (Centre for Global Enterprise), Sam Palmisano.

More interesting than his history as a leader is his position on the current– and future– states of platforms as business models. In his words, “These things are on steroids…”.

But, while the platform model is changing the way we think about business, it is also changing the processes we need to run them, as well as the leadership skills we need to manage them.

The reality is that we’ve moved away from a manufacturing-centric society and, indeed, the finance-centric model that followed it. The world we live in now is without borders — you can be anywhere, meet anywhere, connect anywhere and even ship anywhere. Platforms are unrivalled in their ability to create rich networks, and this is allowing them to operate and grow at levels never before achieved. Because they are so asset-light (the exact opposite of this model’s predecessors), they are incredible investment opportunities. To paraphrase Sam, the building of these rich networks through the network effect is what allows platforms to go from zero to 2 billion subscribers in a very short space of time, and that’s what makes them so interesting, and so fun to be a part of.

We agree with Sam, but we still think you should watch the entire, insightful and remarkably interesting video (it’s 3 minutes well spent) here.

Originally published at on August 26, 2016.

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