The Platform Economy

Everyone loves a graphic.
Retail businesses that has no stock of its own, and a transport service that doesn’t own or operate any of its vehicles ?
and it’s becoming the norm…

Welcome to the ‘Platform Economy’.

MIT Professor Michael A. Cusumano defines a ‘platform economy’ as;

“A platform or complement strategy differs from a product strategy in that it requires an external ecosystem to generate complementary product or service innovations and build positive feedback between the complements and the platform. The effect is much greater potential for innovation and growth than a single product-orientated firm can generate alone”

To add another layer of complexity, the platform economy its self is multi-faceted, ranging from ‘transaction platforms’ that connect businesses and potential clients to one another and facilitate their interaction; Amazon , eBay and Alibaba are strong examples.

Companies such as Uber and Airbnb could be classified as ‘on-demand’ platforms as they enable the exchange of goods and services between individuals and it’s all cloud based.

“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds”

This is the 21st Century equivalent of the Gold Rush, but the money is not in prospecting in the cold, desolate mountains or pan handling in the rivers — it’s in buckets, maps and spades— the platform offers opportunity to all; individuals and businesses to grow and flourish within a network.

And before you throw your arms into the air, yelling ‘Why Ed?! Why?!’ — The Platform Economy is like the Borg. It assimilates everything and spawns…drum roll…. ‘The Mobile Platform Economy’. Very much in the vein of Mcommerce (Mobile Commerce) but I digress…

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

You don’t have to be a Rockefeller to take advantage of these opportunities; whether you’re a student picking through vintage clothes at the flea market or a bibliophile sourcing books, there is a platform ( and an app!) out there that simplifies the entire process.

So what are you waiting for? Get your head in the clouds and seize the day!

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