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Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy
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Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  677 ratings  ·  62 reviews
In Modern Monopolies, Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson tell the definitive story of what has changed, what it means for businesses today, and how managers, entrepreneurs, and business owners can adapt and thrive in this new era.

What do Google, Snapchat, Tinder, Amazon, and Uber have in common, besides soaring market share? They're platforms - a new business model that h
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Mirek Kukla
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
"Modern Monopolies" is a fascinating look at the modern platform, a business model made possible by technology and embodied by companies radically different than any we’ve seen in the past. And while "platform" is surely a buzzword, "Modern Monopolies" argues that the underlying business model is anything but. Though the book is overstuffed with contemporary case studies and has the same consultant-ey tone that plagues the modern business aisle, it’s unusually relevant and surprisingly insightfu ...more
Jun 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf
I highly suspect the stellar reviews for this book to be planted. It was sadly a waste of paper.
Chelsea Lawson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Torn between 3 and 4 stars. The book made persuasive arguments for what the future holds and I now see opportunities for platform businesses everywhere.

Some notes and quotes:
- The new business model is the platform: a business that connects two or more mutually dependent groups in a way that benefits all sides
- Platforms build ecosystems; products don’t
- Getting the core transaction right is the most important piece of platform design, as the platform will need its users to repeat this process
Jun 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, arc
I didn't know a whole lot (read: anything) about the platform business model before reading this book. But I sure do now. Wow.

The main premise of the book is that platforms are currently the best way to organize companies, and author Moazed spends a lot of time describing how they work. Basically, platforms--like eBay, Amazon, Facebook, iTunes, SnapChat, etc.--move beyond the the linear business model (where products move through suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and THEN customers) and in
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25, rounded down. This book was far better than I expected and really, better than it has any business being. It's a debut book from a young CEO and a co-author from his company, and it's pretty transparently aimed at marketing his company, Applico.

With the above out of the way, it's a cogent, accessible, and fundamentally useful exploration of platform companies (think Facebook, Amazon, and Uber) and their role in our economy. The authors create a useful framework for understanding different
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
If you are interested in platform design and mechanics i would first recommend "Platforms Revolutions", much better structured and addresses the topic from all possible angles. "Modern monopolies" adds a few interesting insights, I think it goes more in depth coparing "Platform businesses" with "Pipeline businesses". I also enjoyed more the aproach regarding Core Interaction / Transaction.

Expect more than 40-50% of the content to be repetitive between these two books (Uber and AirBnB often used
Karel Baloun
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
High score for “overall correctness” since the authors clearly do understand both Platforms and modern businesses. Yet blatantly written mostly to promote their expertise and consulting business...

Interesting stories throughout, though many are already well known, and the authors do indeed wait for clear hindsight to ensure they are correct. Piling on Blackberry or Nokia doesn’t win novelty points. Also, any references to China/Asia are shallow, and only afterthoughts.

While their overall thesis
David Nickelson
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
No matter what industry you work in, understanding the "platform" business model and how it has and will continue to affect your business (or your client's business) is critical. The authors do a good job explaining the concept, backing their idea with solid case studies and other research, and effectively demonstrate that this new model will continue to replace the linear "value-chain" business model that dominated the last century and whose legacy still continues to cloud the thinking of many ...more
Jul 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Do you consider present-day Internet giants such as Amazon, Google and Tinder as a monopoly? If not, maybe you should think again, as these companies are working to become the dominant supplier in their sector, or sectors. Yet in a very short time they have managed to make a very, very definitive mark in the process.

The authors have made a fascinating, powerful book that looks at how these companies have managed to get firmly established in our daily lives, considering how they are positioning
Charles Ray
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
For most Americans the term monopoly is viewed negatively, but, according to Alex Moazed and Nicholas L. Johnson, CEO and Head of Platform at Applico, a platform application development company, thanks to the Internet, platforms like PayPal, Uber, Google, and Apple are now dominating the marketplace. They are, the authors contend, monopolies that are not so slowly displacing traditional companies in providing a broad range of services and products to consumers in ways that traditionally organize ...more
John Blackman
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a summary of how tech businesses, in particular platforms have risen to where they are today and what the future holds for new and evolving platforms.

When I say platform, I mean any network typically software and server hosted by nature that connects producers to consumers. Think linkedin (job seekers, employers), facebook (producers to consumers), apple (app developers to app consumers), and Uber (drivers to commuters) to name just a few. The rise of networks have changed the econo
Abdul Abdihalim
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Modern Monopolies takes on the task of explaining the new business model that has taken the world by storm; The Platform business model. The book provides good insight on what it takes for a business to succeed in the 21st-century economy. The book, in my opinion, is broken down into 3 sections. Past, Present, Future. The first couple of chapters look at the past. By analysing past successful businesses that are now just a memory, the author Alex Mozaed explains why and how these companies faile ...more
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
The majority of use cases and examples are for business to consumer businesses. Examples used are quite repetitive. The majority were the usual suspects: Facebook, Uber, Apple, WeChat... By nature, there cannot be too many platform businesses to begin with. Using just a few well known successes (with a few failures sprinkled in which were actually interesting read) doesn't allow for a repeatable pattern to emerge and emulate. There are few interesting items in the book like what are some charact ...more
Nov 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As my first book on the platform design and economics it works well. It gives a brief overview on the importance of the topic, historic developments of some platforms (you know the names), and the most important mechanics that must be taken into an account when building a platform.

It certainly is not a practical book, which is a shame because it would be quite convenient if somebody with extensive platform design experience would chip in and get a little bit hands on. I always like practical exa
Alessandro Chiozzi
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
I don’t get why this book got so many good reviews. Some of the analysis was probably relatively original when the book was launched, but reading it just a few years later exposes it to all its limitations.
The main idea of the book - that well designed platforms will dominate their markets or the new markets that they define - is at least challenged by the reality in which many of the ‘success stories’ find themselves at the moment, with even some of the largest by revenues still struggling to
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: home
When I picked up this book I was (incorrectly) expecting to read the lurid tales and vicious methods the current crop of tech companies have used to grow. However I am so glad to have been proven wrong by the contents of this book.
Alex and Nicholas have done a fantastic job of delving into the guts of what powers the tech companies — the platform and network effects. They go to substantial depths on the topics like the economic theories behind industries as well as the principles of platform bus
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Excellent text on the platform business model. It might go a bit far in justifying that the nature of most successful business models in the future are going to be platforms. However, it describes the strategy for building and sustaining a platform very effectivity. The ideas of focusing on a core transaction and the role of a platform in audience building, matchmaking, providing core tools and services and creating standards/curation provide an excellent framework for a successful platform stra ...more
Amarjeet Kumar
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
I find high rating for this book very very surprising. The core aurgument of this book does not make sense to me. Look at this statement from the author "Platform business models are far more cost-effective and higher scale than the old, linear models they are replacing". Really? Platform business is just a distribution layer on old linear models. They are not replacing it. Just like supply chain innovations few years back, this is the ear of innovation in distribution. I could not finish the bo ...more
Trung Nguyen Dang
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great read overall.
I actually found the first couple of chapters too basic and it was a pain/drag to read. The second chapter wasn't interesting as it was about economic theory and history. The last 2-3 chapters (7-8) are the best as it went in-depth into the platform companies, why and how some succeeded and other failed, as well as how to spot the next successful platform business.
5 stars for the last few chapters, but deduct one star for the slow and uninteresting beginning.
Santosh Shetty
Nov 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Great read. The book should be titled Platform Monopolies. Some of the negatives are the book is solely focused on platform drive companies as the only model that’s going to survive or at least that what I thought. Also with some of the examples it was hugely repetitive and cherry picking examples exhibiting a survivorship and confirmation bias to make the case. Overall it’s a great read I wish the authors who are clearly very talented to provide more emphasis on breadth
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
It’s a book about platform businesses. If you know nothing about how platform business works, it’s a good introductory book. However, I think it’ll probably have a short shelf life. These businesses change quickly, 5 years from now, a lot of businesses described in the book may change dramatically or die. Every era has its great businesses - FAANG is for ours, but they are not invincible just as great businesses of the prior generation.
Blake Madden
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting book that introduces some fascinating concepts about platforms and how platform companies are going to dominate the future. However, no discussion of profitability or financials is considered. The book completely focuses on operational differences between platform company and so-called “linear companies” without giving regard to what I would consider a relatively important factor.
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exactly what you think it is.

A good book for anyone wanting to think more about (supply or demand side) network effects.
Big idea; platforms are a potentially new form of business domination but like a flower, they'll only be so grand with the right conditions.
Jason Orthman
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Good summary of platform businesses, including those that have failed to sustain growth.
Liuyang Li
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: entrepreneurship
I appreciate Facebook's success more after reading this book. ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
First half good. Economic theories are not reliable, but helps understand platform generally very well.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Modern monopoly = platform business model. The book will also discuss the elements that form platforms and examples.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book on the economics of the digital age, written by someone who owns an app development company in Canada and has helped build a lot of these businesses. Highly recommended.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Excellent book to understand modern monopolies and platforms.
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice one
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