SDA Professor of Strategic and Entrepreneurial Management
Digital platforms are creating anxiety among “traditional” incumbent businesses. “What if Google enters our business…?” is a common quest emerging from participants at a certain point of the scenario planning exercises we run in our classrooms. Every single business “household” in every single industry and in every single location seems to be threatened by these approaching massive waves of linked and networked clients and suppliers. Not only Airbnb it threatening the hotel business, taxis with Uber or Lyft and retailers with Amazon and Alibaba and the like, also the producers of industrial goods are watching closely Nest, Samsara, Greenwave systems and many others.
The platforms operate via a two/multi-sided market business model, connecting suppliers and buyers or providers of a service and its users, like Alibaba, Uber, or Taskrabbit. The financial sustainability of the business models based on platforms is related mainly to the economies of scale and to network effects. Once the core technology and business processes are in place, the cost of adding any new user to the platform is negligent, therefore contributing to strong economies of scale effect. In particular, once the “chasm” is crossed, the economies of scale continue persistently creating value for the platforms except for the moments when the growing amount of users is requiring the sequential production capacity updates. The network effect is enhanced by every new user (or supplier) that is making the service or the product more valuable to the existing or potential users. The scale economies and the network effect are both pushing the platform-based companies to grow, domestically and internationally.Leggi tutto →