By Pierre-Jean Hanard
Partner–Startup Advisor, The Startup Platform
Platforms are Taking Over the World
New “household” names such as Uber, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, YouTube, Wikipedia and Instagram all have a few things in common: they are recent, grew rapidly and took over long-standing players without the resources seen as critical to their success. The reason they took sectors and industries by storm is that they connect participants – people and organizations – with their respective resources and allow them to interact using technology. They are platforms, and value is extracted through all interactions and actions made on that platform (e.g. Facebook gathers data on its users whenever they are on the platform).
External Resource Management
What is truly unique to platforms is how they use external resources. Indeed, in a traditional business model, companies use their internal resources to produce goods and services with features based on market research. Platforms, on the other hand, do not own or control any resources. Instead, they are marketplaces allowing participants not only to offer their resources to other participants seeking them, but also to act as both “producer” and “consumer” of value at different points in time. For instance, on Airbnb, any apartment owner (producer) can offer their apartment (value) to an individual seeking to rent it (consumer). And while on holiday abroad, the very ...