Print Money Like Mark Zuckerberg: Understanding Platform Economics
Apologies for the slightly clickbait-y title. But it’s true: Everybody wants to build a platform — the term has become inflationary in startup and innovation circles. That’s understandable because successful platforms are amongst the most profitable and most rapidly growing businesses in the world.
However, building a successful platform is exceedingly risky and difficult. A thorough understanding of platform economics is key (that’s one of the things Mark Zuckerberg excels at, BTW). The platform business is also rapidly changing with new regulatory initiatives and emerging technologies (such as blockchain) that can potentially endanger incumbent platforms and open new opportunities for innovators.
I’m trying something a bit different with this article. Blog posts are great, but they typically can only cover a relatively narrow topic. For a more complex topic such as platforms, it’s not an ideal format because who really wants to read a 20,000 word blog post?
That’s why I put together the following presentation of about 30 slides. It covers the following key topics:
- What a platform is and why you should care
- Types of platforms
- The five pillars of platform economics (including key concepts such as multi-sided markets and network effects)
- How to create and grow platforms
- Strategies for platform complementors
Here it is (click below to load):
- Yes, it’s a bit wordy, because it’s meant to be read, not presented in this form.
- After experimenting with various options, I found that the best way to create and share a complex presentation on the web currently is … Microsoft PowerPoint. A good example for how sometimes old platform dogs can learn new tricks.
- You can also download a PDF version of this presentation here. Please feel free to share with attribution.
- Please let me know what you think. This is a highly dynamic topic, so any kind of feedback would be great.