Platforms benefit from positive network effects, scale economies, and information cascades.

Rose Prince

2019-07-25 16:42:00 Thu ET

Platforms benefit from positive network effects, scale economies, and information cascades. There are at least 2 major types of highly valuable platforms: innovation platforms empower third-party firms to add complementary products and services to some core technology (cf. Google Android, Apple iPhone operating system, and Amazon Web Services), and transaction platforms facilitate the positive exchange of information, goods, or services (cf. Amazon Marketplace, Airbnb, and Uber). In the empirical analysis of 20-year Forbes Global 2000 data, the top 43 core platform corporations generate about $4.5 billion annual sales with only half the number of employees at their non-platform counterparts. These public platform corporations also yield twice operating profits, market values, and bottom-line growth rates.

There are some generic lessons for modern platform corporations. First, founders and managers need to learn fast from failures for better lean startup optimization. Despite huge upside platform opportunities, the mere pursuit of a platform strategy may not improve the odds of success as a long-term sustainable business. Second, most platforms need to boost exponential user demand with network effects and scale economies, so platform corporations should set prices near their relatively low marginal costs with appropriate buyer-or-seller subsidies. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, and Tencent etc start their lean enterprises by subsidizing at least one side of the market before they maintain profitable platforms. In comparison, Netflix, Uber, Lyft, Slack, and Zoom still struggle to fine-tune their business models toward maximum sustainable platforms.

Third, it is important for platform firms to explain why they strive to accomplish a great deal for better customer trust and loyalty. Many platforms cultivate customer rapport to inspire users via positive information cascades. For instance, Alibaba Taobao and Tmall leverage Alipay as the sleek third-party payment mechanism to ease the transactional frictions of e-commerce in China (whereas, eBay fails to attract customer trust and rapport there due to the mere absence of a credible and verifiable third-party payment system).

Fourth, most platforms enjoy and maintain first-mover competitive advantages with formidable barriers to entry. A good example is Microsoft: the software tech titan remains competitive with its Windows operating system, Office software suite, and Edge Internet browser; however, Microsoft gradually loses unique business niches to Apple iOS, Google Android, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

On balance, platform corporations need to deploy these key strategies for better network effects, scale economies, and information cascades.

 


If any of our AYA Analytica financial health memos (FHM), blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, and notifications etc, or any other form of online content curation, involves potential copyright concerns, please feel free to contact us at service@ayafintech.network so that we can remove relevant content in response to any such request within a reasonable time frame.

Blog+More

President Trump imposes punitive tariffs on $60 billion Chinese imports in a brand-new trade war.

Laura Hermes

2018-03-25 08:39:00 Sunday ET

President Trump imposes punitive tariffs on $60 billion Chinese imports in a brand-new trade war.

President Trump imposes punitive tariffs on $60 billion Chinese imports in a brand-new trade war as China hits back with retaliatory tariffs on $3 billion U

+See More

Kourtney Kardashian shares the best money advice from her father.

Olivia London

2019-11-01 12:31:00 Friday ET

Kourtney Kardashian shares the best money advice from her father.

Kourtney Kardashian shares the best money advice from her father. This advice reminds her that money just cannot buy happiness. As the eldest of the Kardash

+See More

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence.

Amy Hamilton

2019-03-11 10:32:00 Monday ET

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence.

Lyft seeks to go public with a dual-class stock ownership structure that allows the co-founders to retain significant influence over the rideshare tech unic

+See More

Many eminent investors suggest that the time may be ripe for a major stock market correction.

Becky Berkman

2017-08-13 09:36:00 Sunday ET

Many eminent investors suggest that the time may be ripe for a major stock market correction.

Several investors and billionaires such as George Soros, Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, and Howard Marks suggest that the time may be ripe for a major financia

+See More

Facebook, Twitter, and Google executives explain the scope of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

Apple Boston

2017-09-19 05:34:00 Tuesday ET

Facebook, Twitter, and Google executives explain the scope of Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google executives head before the Senate Judiciary Committee to explain the scope of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential el

+See More

Apple adds fresh features to its new iPad Pro and MacBook Air in addition to its prior suite of iPhones.

Joseph Corr

2018-11-03 11:36:00 Saturday ET

Apple adds fresh features to its new iPad Pro and MacBook Air in addition to its prior suite of iPhones.

Apple adds fresh features to its new iPad Pro and MacBook Air in addition to its prior suite of iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR back in September 20

+See More