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Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You
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Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,702 ratings  ·  249 reviews
Uber. Airbnb. Amazon. Apple. PayPal. All of these companies disrupted their markets when they launched. Today they are industry leaders. What’s the secret to their success?

These cutting-edge businesses are built on platforms: two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business. Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, Platform
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 28th 2016 by W. W. Norton Company (first published February 22nd 2016)
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Always Pouting
Apparently people earn money by providing a platform for people to share their own content and material, that it that is the whole book. How is that enough material to write a whole book? Like even the concept itself isn't that interesting. Department stores and supermarkets sell things other companies produce as well does that make them platforms or unique and innovative?
Tara Brabazon
Sep 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is superior to the Malcolm Gladwell school of publishing, taking a small and basic idea and rendering it thunderous and revolutionary through metaphors. This book, written by Parker, Van Alstyne and Choudary, describes the impact of digitization, disintermediation and reintermediation as a 'platform revolution.' Obviously - and once more - this is not a revolution. This is a change.

But the authors describe this change - through airbnb, uber, youtube and yelp - quite effectively. Most o
Wendy Liu
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
I almost feel guilty giving this a review since I'm deliberately reading it critically (for my dissertation), as I'm definitely not the intended audience. It's very much a business how-to catering to managers & would-be entrepeneurs/investors. There are some decent case studies and there's even a bit of criticism of the business models of some of the new tech platforms, but it's almost wholly devoid of any actual analysis beyond a superficial level. No critical engagement with the political assu ...more
Jun 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Parker and two colleagues have produced a readable trade book on the "platform revolution" focusing on how a set of Internet firms that digitally match buyers and sellers in a variety of information intensive industries. What industries do I mean? Think of Uber, Air BnB, Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, and a bunch of others seeking to emulate these sites ("become the Uber of industry X" - the most recent I heard of was a service linking dog walkers with dog owners in need of care). All of the authors ...more
Akshith Rao
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book benefits from the extensive experience of authors in the platform space. It does a great job of connecting a few landmark academic papers to observations on the ground. This book is a must read if you need to answer any of these
a) Which industries are conducive for the rise of platforms? How do they create disruptions as compared to regular incumbents?
b) Architecture, growth and monetisation mechanisms employed by platforms
c) Governance and metrics tips for platform managers

With so muc
Karen Chung
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a bit long, but it's full of useful information and food for thought, especially if you're working on a startup.
Ahmad hosseini
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: startup, management
“A platform is a business based on enabling value-creating interactions between external producers and consumers. The platform provides an open, participative infrastructure for these interactions and sets governance conditions for them.”
The book addresses the designing, launching, managing, and governing a platforms. Network effects, strategy, metrics, policies, regulatory challenges, and difference between old businesses with platforms are some topics of this book. There are good examples of b
Dominic Wörner
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Timely book that discusses various aspects of platform businesses drawing from academic research (mostly performed by the authors themselves) and anecdotal case studies.
There is an extensive discussion about various aspects a successful platform business has to consider. From network effects (demand economics of scale) over Monetization strategies to Governance and Policy.

I really enjoyed this book and have only two minor negative points.
1) Most research that is cited is located in the Boston A
Arthur Kosten
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, economy
Lots of good stuff. The authors clearly know a lot about platforms. But not easy reading. A lot of information, and despite the great content i've put the book aside for months because it isn't very exciting reading. Highly recommended for tech entrepreneurs who are running platforms or marketplaces. Almost certainly you'll pick up some great insights from the world of Uber, Airbnb, Google, Facebook and others. 5 stars for the content. 3 stars for the writing style.
Sten Tamkivi
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good intro to someone trying to understand how software powered network effects create different business dynamics from old school service business with controlled supply chains. Or a structured, well researched reference for those who have not known business any other way.
Herval Freire
Oct 28, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book is basically a two-slide powerpoint, converted into 300 pages of obvious concepts and repeating descriptions of the same things. All there is to know (if anything) is on the “takeway from the chapter” boxes.
Sampada Nayak
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one is a really good read !

For those who are curious and intrigued by how , when , where and how the platforms like Amazon , Uber , Apple etc have taken over our world this book is a delight .. The authors start right from basic principles governing design of platforms , get you educated on "platform thinking " and "platform lingo " eventually moving on to launch , monetization and a detailed discussion on governance of platforms.. The narration does get a little textbooky and this not a b
Viljami Kuosmanen
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Comprehensive guide to the transformation from traditional pipeline business to online platforms. Absolutely loved the optimisim as well as the balanced view on regulation.

Especially noteworthy is the use of real life examples and not limited just to Amazon, Google, Uber and AirBnB.

Nopadol Rompho
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: startup
If you want to do startup that use platform strategy, this is the book for you. There are a lot of very useful recommendations that you can't miss. I strongly recommended it.
Dieter Verlaeckt
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: innovation
Excellent description of how platforms are changing the business landscape and a comprehensive overview of what it takes to build a successful platform.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is a must for the ones interested in economy of platforms: the history, current situation (a bit outdated already in 2020, but principles are still valid) and future perspective (basically now). The book is rich with examples and valuable argumentation.
Deane Barker
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book about the rise of "platforms" -- systems that don't do anything except connect other people. Think AirBnB, Facebook, Uber, etc.

A good look at all the challenges, especially things like network effects, how to get people on the platform to start with, and how to keep them on the platform over time.
Joel Gray
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it

Platforms grow fast because they create value using resources they dont own or control.

Network effects refers to the impact that the number of users on the platform has on the value created for each other.

Frictionless entry is a key factor in enabling a platform to grow rapidly.

The key to minimising most negative network effects is quality curation, which increases the chances of a happy match between producer
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just a great book explains almost everything you need to know about platform business and it inspires you with many great platform companies and startups.

Jason Cox
May 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read, nonfiction
Rating: 3.7

Fairly interesting read focused on the idea of the "platform" in the commercial space. Not to be confused with the Michael Hyatt style individual platform (which is basically your professional/personal/social presence on the internet which you use to forward your ideas and showcase your talents). This book is more focused on what I would describe as "integrated commercial platforms."

For example, the Android ecosystem is a platform. It includes a standard set of apps and APIs which are
Michael Payne
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Platforms are eating the world. That phrase would be a timely update to Marc Andreessen's famous article on Why Software is Eating the World. From Airbnb, to Facebook, to Uber, to Amazon the list of platform companies dominating their market niches in an accounting of an unparalleled rise.

Geoffrey Parker's book is an insightful look at the mechanics of one-sided and two-sided networks, and the strategies they employ for virality and dominance. For those in markets with dominant players, Parker s
Otavio Furlan
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What Google/Amazon/Airbnb and Nespresso have in common? They are all platform businesses! This book clarifies what makes these companies so unique and shows how network effects are so powerful in creating value for all and how technology supports the build of scalable business. A must-read!
Sebastian Gebski
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Decent. If you approach it with reasonable expectations, I mean.

1. It's not a vault of ideas for future platforms, but hopefully you're not that naive to think so ;D
2. This book is very academic - thorough & well-structured in terms of dissecting idea of platform as such. IMHO it's a HUGE pro: I truly appreciate approaching concept of platform from so many different angles
3. There are tons of real-life examples & cases - shallow enough to make following easy & deep enough to illustrate what has
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
This book is interesting in that it has a lot of real-world examples, where entrepreneurs had to follow crazy strategies to be successful in their ventures. However, the tone of the book sounds very academic; and reminded me of case studies from my business school. Towards the end, the authors try to engage us in a philosophical discussion, but leading us nowhere and you end up a little confused what they were trying to say (maybe it was all intentional). Overall, it is a good read, but watch ou ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good book, explaining the rise of platform businesses against the traditional pipeline/production model, its strengths and weaknesses.

I loved it but it's quite academic so it gets a little bit intense in certain passages, especially in the last chapters, when the book goes in depth on certain topics related to the platform model.

Suggested for every digital worker, researcher, economist and entrepreneur.
Niki Agrawal
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is written like a textbook, not very memorable in the long-run, but helpful if you are currently brainstorming platform strategies and want to know terminologies and techniques. The summaries at the end of each chapter are helpful; the book itself could have been shorter for the same level of content.

Note: I listened to the audiobook version of this on Audible. Pretty dry to listen to, but on 1.5-2x, you can absorb the content from it more quickly.
Nicholas Moryl
May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Decent overview of the dynamics of platform-based businesses. Some of the examples and data are annoyingly cherry-picked, though (e.g. although the book was published in 2016, it cites data about Zynga as of mid-2011)
Zach Howes
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good 100 level overview

Good starter info for understanding difference of platform models versus linear models. Opens pretty heavy with Airbnb and Uber but later provides other good examples worth consideration.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Meh. Some interesting ideas here and there, but all in all, you can live without it.
Viktorija Vosyliūtė
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: professional
Essential basics of platform developing frameworks and key components.

Extremely recommended for those who wants to build real value exchange between all platform participants.
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Geoffrey Parker is a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College (effective July 2016) and has been a professor of management science at Tulane University since 1998. He is also a visiting scholar and research fellow at the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy. Before joining academia, he held positions in engineering and finance at General Electric. He has made significant contributions to th ...more

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