Let’s start with why.
Why is the platform business model conquering industries after industries around the globe? Well, it’s because of its flexibility to help business to scale up more, create new values and changes our lives.
Businesses can stand on platforms together and get lifted up, up and beyond. Look at Uber, AirBnb, Amazon and more. Platforms are touching many aspects of our daily lives and expanding.
Anything can happen with it. You can create values by mixing and matching different blocks of products made by different businesses or even individuals like you and me. No real need to go through the hassle of M&A. Actually, the simpler it is, the better.
Small or big, you’re in as a producer, consumer or developer who can add useful functions for other players. But on one crucial condition: You have to add value. You just need to tug really hard at the right timing.
A good platform is a collection of motivated players that aim to become a vibrant community. It’s democratic. Platforms rely on the network effects to work. They need to attract more players to interact and create value.
It’s easy to grow fast and efficiently.
Platform has been here all along. But why it is dominating the markets now?
The millennials, young adults born after 1980, also known as Generation Y, are taking over the boomers now. They have been through a hard time after the 2008 recession, triggering them to rethink what it means to be successful.
According to a 2011 data by the Career Advisory Board, young adults ages 21-31 wanted jobs that had a sense of meaning.
What does meaning mean? Emily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer L. Aaker’s joint study states that “People who lead meaningful lives feel connected to others, to work, to a life purpose, and to the world itself.” They find purpose in life in doing good for others and “orient themselves to a larger purpose.”
Platform’s success can go an extra mile if it keeps reminding its players that they are here to create value and purpose bigger than themselves. Adding reviews of your Uber drivers boost service quality of the whole platform. Bringing in more hosts on Airbnb allows consumers to have more options around the world. Adding friends on Facebook introduced new and diverse content on the Internet.
Little by little everyone can contribute and change the world. People are willing to be a part of big movements so platforms are here to stay.