Five Must-Reads on The Platform Economy

The leaves on the trees are starting to change, meaning our days of sitting on the beach with a good book and drink in-hand are pretty much over. With that in mind, what better way to take advantage of the crisp autumn weather than by going “back to school” with a book that will boost your your entrepreneurial spirit. The internet has created an economy where connecting people with products, services, or with other people is a tremendous source of revenue and growth (this will be the focus of our upcoming 3DEXPERIENCE FORUM in October). Understanding how to fully harness and integrate the power of a platform business model is the deciding factor between the success or failure in 2017. If you’re an entrepreneur, small or large business owner, or just plain curious, learning more about platform business models will prove to be highly educational and very worthwhile. Here is a list of our five favorite books about the Platform Business Model that you can read on the beach before time runs out:

Platform Strategy: How to Unlock the Power of Communities and Networks to Grow Your Business Routledge, 1st edition, May 17, 2017

Launchworks co-founders Benoit Reillier and Laure Claire Rellier do a deep-dive into how some of the most successful tech-disruption startups such as UberAirbnb, and Amazon have harnessed the power of the internet and platform based solutions to completely change the world. Using real-life case studies, they breakdown what a platform business is and the new management techniques needed in order to compete in 2017. In a recent piece in Irish Tech News, the pair noted how platform based businesses are more adept at attracting customers and communities “to create value, scale, and adapt.” Read more. 

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future W.W. Norton & Company, 1st Edition, June 27, 2017

Written by MIT professors Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, this book analyzes what led to this rapidly changing economy, what the future holds, and how we can use platforms to succeed in this strange new world. Machine, Platform, Crowd is a follow-up on the duo’s 2014 book The Second Age Machine, that predicted the ways machines and smart-technologies would improve society. Their latest work applies this knowledge to the business arena, specifically how these developments will affect business moving forward. The Economist calls it “an astute romp through digital trends,” that is “hard to beat.” More here.

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy – And How to Make Them Work for You W.W. Norton & Company , 1st Edition, March 28, 2016

Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary are experts in the field of business platforms and many consider Platform Revolution to be the authority on the platform business model. The authors wrote this book as a teaching tool for those unfamiliar with the technology to adopt a platform model and modernize their business. The trio sat down with The Marketing Journal to discuss how platforms work and the multiple purposes they serve, as well as talk about what sets their book apart from others. More here.

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy St. Martin’s Press, May 31, 2016

Modern Monopolies is the brain-child of tech-startup wunderkinds Alex Moazed and Nick Johnson, the founders of the platform innovation company Applico. Moazed and Johnson note the internet and social media play a huge role in the platform boom, because rather than make products, platforms connect people to one another and profit from the value created through these exchanges. The book has been the focus of pieces in the Financial Times and Bloomberg, proving its value as an easy to understand handbook on the platform economy. More here.

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms Harvard Business Review Press, May 24, 2016

Connecting people with similar ideas, interests, or jobs for a variety of purposes is at the core of what makes a platform based business successful. That’s the focus of Matchmakers, the role connections play in an economy that puts a premium on linking customers and businesses together via search and social media for new experiences. Authors David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee are some of the leading economic minds behind the platform business model. Forbes interviewed the two to learn more about the book and the principles of multisided platforms. More here.


Katie Corey


This post originally appeared in the Navigate the Future blog.