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Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment by [Choudary, Sangeet Paul]
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Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Over the last decade or so, we're seeing the emergence of a new form of scale. Today's massively scaling startups - which rapidly grow to millions of users and billions in valuation - do not sell a product or service. Instead, they build a platform on which others can create and exchange value.

The many manifestations of the platform business model - social media, the peer economy, cryptocurrencies, APIs and developer ecosystems, the Internet of things, crowdsourcing models, and many others - are becoming increasingly relevant.

Yet, most new platform ideas fail because the business design and growth strategies involved in building platforms are not well understood.

Platform Scale lays out a structured approach to designing and growing a platform business model and addresses the key factors leading to the success and failure of these businesses.

Six core concepts for successful platform business model design

1. Re-imagine your business for platform scale
The mechanism by which these new business models scale so rapidly. Understand the shift in thinking needed to manage businesses with platform scale and the impact of network effects, virality, behavior design and data.

"We are not in the business of building software. We are in the business of enabling interactions."

2. Leverage interaction-first design
How detailed consideration around designing the producer-consumer core interaction is critical for building business models that leverage platform scale.

"The design of the platform business model involves the design of a core interaction followed by the design of an open infrastructure that will enable and govern this interaction."

3. Build cumulative value and minimize interaction failure
Know the key managerial decisions to focus on while managing platform scale businesses, all geared towards maximizing the ability of these businesses to enable interactions by scaling producer participation and minimizing interaction failure.

"Platform scale is achieved by maximizing the repeatability and efficiency of the platform's core interaction."

4. Solve chicken and egg problems
Platform business models face an all too familiar catch-22 chicken and egg problem on the way to scaling. This can be overcome by designing the conditions for sparking interactions.

"The solution to the chicken-and-egg problem requires a bait that can break the vicious cycle of no activity."

5. Design viral engines
Understand the drivers of viral growth in a world of networks and apply the viral canvas design-first approach to viral growth.

"Virality is a business design problem, not a marketing or engineering effort. It requires design before optimization."

6. Account for reverse network effects

Consider the counter view on platform scale and be on the lookout for conditions where scale can be detrimental to platform businesses.

"The goal of platform scale is to ensure the simultaneous scaling of quantity and quality, of interactions."

Platform Scale is a maker's guide for entrepreneurs, innovators and educators looking to understand and implement the inner workings of highly scalable platform business models.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6885 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 9810967586
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Platform Thinking Labs; First edition (15 September 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B015FAOKJ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,855 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition
So here's a strange thing. I took this book to bed. I started reading. I didn't finish until the small hours. I woke up and everything made sense! Okay, so maybe that's a bit OTT. But for me this is an inspirational book. It brings to life and extends the work of Peter Senge on systems thinking I read over 20 years ago. It provides a coherent analysis of how the world is changing to better understanding and capitalising on ecosystems in business and society. It provides a coherent view, based on data and case studies, of how new business models and associated technologies are changing the landscape. I particularly liked the way it chunked difficult concepts into clear patterns so they made sense. My only observation is that the author can do another book on the role of platforms in government. The 'reciprocal obligation' mantra that was so evident after the GFC provides a great lense to view how government's can redefine their contribution to society by fostering ecosystems that create mutual value - as opposed to pipes of taxes, delivery and outcome. Needless to say, bring on the next one!
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A mine of information from a genuinely passionate and knowledgeable observer of the new business paradigms evolving out of a more connected world building value from incredibly fast developing technology.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.6 out of 5 stars 115 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In-depth coverage with case studies and strategy patterns for designing platform businesses that scale 23 February 2016
By Olaf - Published on
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Choudary provides theory, examples, real-world strategies, and models for understanding and designing platform businesses. This book describes how "pipe" businesses are being usurped by platforms and how to design a platform business.

Platform Scale contains an up-to-date and insightful look at platform patterns and clear strategies for how growth and scale are achieved. The models Choudary uses are presented in illustrations at the end of each chapter and build on each other to form a complete picture of platform dynamics. He gives two diagnostic and strategic views of platforms: 1) the platform components and participants; and 2) the platform stack including data, infrastructure and services. He uses these throughout the book to illustrate how to achieve scale and create value. Choudary dissects various platform businesses and specific interactions to give detailed advice for interaction design, incentives, and network effects, and virality

The key to designing a platform business is the interaction between consumers and producers. The platform must build incentives for producers, long term value for all participants, strong curation mechanisms for content, and effective filters for relevance. To achieve platform scale, owners must select the right type of interaction driver and remove friction between participants. At its inception, every platform must find a way to jump start its usage to gain critical mass for survival. Choudary provides a catalog of strategies, patterns, and case studies for each of these challenges. He includes a design canvas for both platforms and virality to help with planning and strategy.

After reading this, you'll have several great models to use for analyzing your own and other platform businesses along with strategies for growth. There's only one other book on platforms which covers more ground: Platform Ecosystems by Amrit Tiwana.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Platform Scale provides some excellent frameworks to work from for designing platforms 12 July 2016
By Mr Todd P - Published on
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I am an advocate for the Business Model Generation book by Osterwalder and Pigneur. Platform Scale takes the platform business model to the next level in terms of detail, strategy and practicalities. The challenge now is to put it into practice. In doing so, Platform Scale provides some excellent frameworks to work from for designing platforms, ie. the Platform Canvas and Platform Stack. In section 5, the Viral Canvas is also a very good tool for planning viral growth. There is a lot of detail to take in with this book and I just find frameworks (with additional notes) easier to recall information rather than having to refer to the book all the time. Therefore I would have given Platform Scale five stars if frameworks were provided for Section 3 Building Interaction-First Platforms and Section 4 Solving Chicken-and-Egg Problems (instead I will have to summarise myself). I very much look forward to reading Platform Revolution. As Choudary says, "the platformed world is here to stay".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone building a platform based business. 26 May 2016
By Albert Hixson - Published on
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Excellent book on the shift from the pipe business model to the platform model that we see used by companies like Airbnb, Uber, UpWork, and several other thriving businesses. Sangeet does an excellent job of dividing each section into easy to understand chunks of information that allow you to quickly work through the book, but comprehend the information at the same time. I highly recommend this book to any platform based startup business or if you are just curious how many of the new tech giants, that are quickly becoming household names, came to be.
5.0 out of 5 stars Platform Scale has become our Bible 10 December 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book has been hands-down the best resource for our platform to date. Not only does the author clearly articulate his thoughts about the disruptive platform business model but he goes places with his theories and methodologies where all other technology pundits fall short. Platform design, as Sangeet points out, has allowed services like Uber, Facebook, and Twitter to get to the burgeoning user base and the multi-billion dollar valuations they have achieved to date.

Sangeet pierces the veil of traditional analyses that chalk up theories of tremendous growth due to "technology," "technology making it more efficient," "software eating the world," or "growthhacking." He takes it one step further in saying that a platform must first and foremost tackle an already existing interaction in the world, isolating it, and handling that core interaction for users. It must first be able to operate without a technological foundation but it is the open and voluntary access for producers and consumers, specific rules of access (like 140 character messages), filters, tools and services to handle quality, and the ability to continuously match the market as it scales that leads to success.

Platform Scale has become our Bible we appeal to everyday when making platform design decisions.
5.0 out of 5 stars The PLATFORM. 24 February 2017
By Satyaveer Paul - Published on
Verified Purchase
If you are starting your startup today, i.e., on the verge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution think again, you are going to have a tough time.
The tried and tested approach has already filled the space, and you need to understand the value of a platform regarding a real PLATFORM (it is different from what you have learned in the past). The book gives a remarkable insight on how to build the future companies as a platform where data is the new dollar & the network effect is the new driver for scale.
Sangeet is an exceptional Thinker & the entire book involves you in the cognitive processes while reading by giving new ideas to do things differently. Learn to build the companies that matter.