How high can we fly? Without a doubt, higher than the sun. So we need wings not made of wax but something bigger and stronger. Even better, we all can fly together.
We now live in a ‘networked age’ that encourages businesses to stop being at each other’s throat but to connect. Being connected is the new sexy of wings for today’s businesses. We call this the platform business model. Businesses can stand on platforms together and get lifted up, up and beyond.
The beauty of platform business is that anything can happen with it. You can create values by mixing and matching different products built by different businesses or individuals. No need to go to through gigantic moves like acquisition and merging. Just simple partnerships. The less complex it is, the better.
It’s democratic. Platforms rely on the network effects to work. They need to attract more players to interact and create value. Whoever you are, you can join a platform as a producer (like Uber driver) or consumers (like Uber passenger) or as an external developer who can add useful functions to the platform for producers and consumers. Even if you are small business, if you can add value, you’re in. You just need to catch the right tide.
Platforms connect us to each other, showing us what we’re capable of. Platforms can put democracy into practice. A good platform is a collection of motivated players that aim to become a vibrant community. Anything can happen.
But how? Creating something better and new is possible when diverse voices are heard. Creators of platforms need a “good set of rules that concerns who gets to participate, how to divide value and how to resolve conflict,” according to Platform Revolution.
First of all, it adds, platforms should not let players hide important information from other players to their advantage. You can’t let a producer sell fake Chanel bags to buyers who believe they are real designer bags. Trust is what glues us together, ain’t it? Secondly, platform should make sure only those involve in a given interaction get the benefit. Platform needs to keep good track of who is responsible for a good value created.
Thirdly, it should prevent one supplier from having too much power. We don’t want him to demand special favors or ridiculously high prices. Lastly, platforms should reduce all risks that may tarnish good interaction to bad ones.
More and more companies are shifting to become platforms. Why? Well, first of all, it’s cool. And, it helps business to scale up more, create new values and changes our lives. Platforms touch almost all aspects of our lives now like how we move (Uber), spend the night (Airbnb), how we communicate (WeChat), how we meet new people (Tinder) and so on.
It honors changes and create values that makes our lives better. We should be glad it’s here to stay.
– “Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–And How to Make Them Work for You” by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary
Learn more about our platform Easiway at www.geteasiway.com