How Platform Strategies Continue to Create Value

MIT Sloan Management Review

September 24, 2018

By Geoffrey Parker, Marshall Van Alstyne, and Peter Evans

Lessons for business leaders from the 2018 MIT Platform Strategy Summit.

Platforms were once considered small and even quirky additions to business strategy. This is no longer the case: In 2018, companies deploying platform business models continue to surprise and challenge conventional approaches to creating value.

Platform companies have also been among the first to recognize and harness data-centric strategies, and many have moved to the forefront of a wide range of disruptive technologies, from cloud computing to IoT. In the process, platform companies have become powerful engines of innovation that play an increasingly integral part in economies throughout the world. A number of companies shared their journeys at our 2018 MIT Platform Strategy Summit. Their stories illustrate a number of broad principles that represent the locus and control of platform value today:

  1. Technology, scale, and smart risk management.
  2. The power of specialization and advanced decision engines.
  3. Data-driven, AI-savvy platform talent.
  4. Building value through diversity.
  5. Tackling ever more fragmented markets.

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