During the last decade, platform businesses such as Uber, Airbnb, Amazon and eBay have been taking over the world. In almost every sector, traditional businesses are under attack from digital disrupters that are effectively harnessing the power of communities. But what exactly is a platform business and why is it different? In Platform Strategy, Laure Claire Reillier and Benoit Reillier provide a practical guide for students, digital entrepreneurs and executives to understand what platforms are, how they work and how you can build one successfully.
Using their own “rocket model” and original case studies (including Google, Apple, Amazon), they explain how designing, igniting and scaling a platform business requires learning a whole new set of management rules. Platform Strategy also offers many fascinating insights into the future of platforms, their regulation and governance, as well as how they can be combined with other business models.
Benoit Reillier and Laure Claire Reillier are co-founders of Launchworks, a leading advisory firm focused on helping organizations develop and scale innovative business models.
This book suggests that ‘everything has gone to the platform’, which in some ways is an interesting way of looking at things. They have carefully developed their argument and marshall a series of examples of successful businesses that are now platform/cloud driven. You may agree or disagree with this assertion, but it does create an interesting insight into how to look at things. Examples such as Uber are of course problematic currently with their high rate of turnover at a senior management level, but at the same time Uber may still become a huge success, despite, rather than because of it’s management and cultural challenges. The authors cite the importance of trust and regulation for successful platform based companies and business plays, so they would perhaps see Uber’s current woes as merely reinforcing their point that it is all going to the platform but there are ways to do it well or otherwise.
It’s an interesting book, and it is quite possible we may look back in the future and say ‘yes of course it all became platform based’. For now this book is a useful primer into what we can probably expect to see more of in the future, and what strategies are worth considering to ensure successful business initiatives.