Reading listValueUnderstanding the role of data in platforms: a reading list

What role data plays in platforms? I share here the resources I used to understand better.

Why understanding the role of data in platforms matters

It’s now common to talk about platforms, but let me rapidly tell you why it matters to me (and more generally to strategy making):

  • Over the last 10 years, platforms created and captured a huge value, challenging the position of incumbents in many industries. After BtoC applications (think about Airbnb and Uber), platforms emerge in BtoB, thanks to the generalisation of Internet of Things technologies, however, the gameplay doesn’t seem to be the same
  • Previously used by new entrants, platforms business models are now implemented by some incumbent companies in complement or substitution to their legacy business model. Interestingly, some of these companies are stepping back and concentrate on their legacy business model
  • However attractive because of winner-takes-all situation, the platform economics are particularly hard to master and maintain. A lot of companies try, the large majority fail. Data assets and capabilities are two pillars of platform success and there are various options to access, maintain and develop these assets and capabilities.

My reading list and resources on platforms

So now, here is a selection of what I read and found useful or interesting.

On platform business models key success factors

  • CICERO S. has developed with his team a methodology “Platform design toolkit” and you can look at their publications on Medium, for example.
  • CUSUMANO M., GAWER A. (2019), The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power, Harper Business
  • GAWER A. (2010), Platforms, Markets and Innovation, Edward Elgar Pub
  • REILLER L., REILLER B. (2017), Platform Strategy: How to Unlock the Power of Communities and Networks to Grow Your Business, Routledge

Research articles on platform economics

  • HINZ O. (2020), Estimating Network Effects in Two-Sided Markets. Journal of Management Information systems
  • ROCHET J.C. TIROLE J. (2003), Platform competition in two-sided markets
  • TAN B., ANDERSON A.G., PARKER G.G. (2020) Platform Pricing and Investment to Drive Third-Party Value Creation in Two-Sided Networks. Information Systems Research
  • WEN W., ZHU F. (2019), Threat of platform-owner entry and complementor responses: Evidence from the mobile app market. Strategic Management Journal
  • WULF J., BLOHM I. (2020), Fostering Value Creation with Digital Platforms: A Unified Theory of the Application Programming Interface Design. Journal of Management Information systems
  • ZHU F., LIU Q. (2018), Competing with complementors: An empirical look at Strategic Management Journal

Blog posts on platform economics

Investors views

A critical perspective on algorithmic decision making in platforms

  • MOROZOV E. (2013), To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism, PublicAffairs
  • O’NEIL C. (2016), Weapons of Math Destruction, Crown Random House
  • PASQUALE F. (2015), The black box society, Harvard University Press
  • ROSENBLAT A. (2018), Uberland : How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, University of California Press


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