Platform Strategy: Building and Thriving in a Vibrant Ecosystem


The November, 2020 session will take place over the same days, but in a live online format. November 10, 8:30am-4:30pm ET; November 11, 8:30am-4:30pm ET. Please view the "Live Online Offering" tab for the daily schedule and additional information on this virtual session.

Over the past two decades, some of the most profitable and successful firms are those that have adopted a digital platform model—a strategy whereby the company allows two or more disparate groups to interact over a platform to co-create value; for example, website developers and users on Akamai, recruiters and employees on LinkedIn, and drivers and customers on Uber. In this two-day program, participants eager to develop or launch a digital platform approach will learn why and how their business strategies may need to be revised to be successful.

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  • Case Studies
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Platform Strategy: Building and Thriving in a Vibrant Ecosystem
Certificate Track: Strategy and Innovation
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition: $4,100 (excluding accommodations)
Program Days (for ACE Credit) 2

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In 2018, eight of the top ten global brands (according to Brandz) were platform-orientated companies —companies that created and now dominate arenas in which buyers, sellers, and a variety of third parties are connected in real time. In today’s networked age, the cloud, social media, and mobile devices are fueling this platform competition, and more and more companies want in. However, many companies do not succeed in becoming platform leaders because their technology and/or business strategies fall short.

While many platform strategies are well known (e.g. Apple’s iTunes), there are other less-heralded platforms that are exploring new ways to create and capture value. These include: dynamic pricing, usage fees, highly targeted product and service offerings, inbound marketing, and network effects.

Key questions the faculty explores include:

  • Is a customer segment with the highest “willingness to pay” the most valuable segment?
  • When is tying a customer to a platform (sometimes called “lock in”) counter-productive?
  • Which pricing formats seem to boost revenues but actually slow platform adoption?
  • How can companies get in front of the common evolution patterns of platforms?
  • When should leaders be wary of “platform envy?”

Through case studies and Q&A, experienced managers will emerge with insights into how they can refresh their company’s strategic approach and participate profitably in the multi-sided marketplaces of the future.


Platform strategy, explained

The formulation of a platform strategy requires somewhat distinct tools to help platform entrepreneurs and managers tackle the challenges of value creation and value capture.

Participant Testimonial

"Great class. Enjoyed every bit of it. The platform framework is excellent and forces managers to ask the right questions in order to develop a good business model." -- Ashwin M.

Faculty Insights

Pierre Azoulay on Platform Strategy: Building and Thriving in a Vibrant Ecosystem.

Participant Insights

Participant, Christian Abera Degu shares his experience at Platform Strategy: Building and Thriving in a Vibrant Ecosystem.