Digital Platforms and Business Model Innovation

Marshall Van Alstyne

Digital Platforms and Business Model Innovation

- December 6th 2018

Marshall Van Alstyne is a professor at Boston University and a research associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.   He is one of the leading experts in the world on networked business models and digital platforms; he is one of the prominent figures in information economics and one of the founders of the literature on two-sided networks.  His research and writing inform firms strategy.  

Marshall is the author of “Platform Revolution: How networked markets are transforming the economy and how to make them work for you”.  Professor Van Alstyne’s work has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. 

Students and executives were eager to hear about digital platforms as it is a topic they likely will have to cope with in their careers. 

Marshall began his presentation with network effects and why they make platforms such a powerful economic force. 

The discussion covered how platforms transform traditional industries, before turning to how you monetize, that is, capture some of the value created by network effects. 

Topics that followed included how to set up the appropriate governance for your platform, followed by how to define what platform user can and cannot do on your platform, that is, defining the openness of the platform. 

The seminar concluded with how to measure what really matters, and a strategic discussion of how platforms change competition.