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The anatomy of a platform.

The anatomy of a platform.

The presentation deck for my talk at the XConf 2016 in Bangalore & Gurgaon.


Avinash Chugh

July 30, 2016


  1. The anatomy of a platform Harnessing the power of network

  2. Network economies are here to stay. Products Services Social networks

    + + Value =
  3. We’ve seen them before.

  4. A stage for ‘interactions’ between two (or more) sets of

    actors. Producers Goods / Services Consumers
  5. The networking effect in action.

  6. …as opposed to the more traditional pipeline (aka. ’linear’) business

    models. Production Assembly Distribution
  7. Pipes TV Channels Encyclopedia Britannica Classrooms YouTube, Vimeo Wikipedia Udemy,

    Coursera Hotels Airbnb vs. Platforms
  8. Platform thinking explores ways to unlock ‘new’ sources of supply.

    “Make more” approach “Make it easier” approach “Make different” approach “Build more rooms and BnBs.” e.g. Marriott “Aggregate inventory across providers and enable search” e.g. MakeMyTrip “Why not enable anyone with a spare room and bed?” e.g. Airbnb
  9. …and democratize ‘production’. “Make more” approach “Make it easier” approach

    “Make different” approach “More news means more journalists need to churn out more content” e.g. Times of India “Serve readers with relevant news across news agencies and locations” e.g. Google News “Why can’t anyone create and distribute news?” e.g. Twitter
  10. You can’t think of pipes in the platform world. User

    acquisition Product Design Monetization “Convert shoppers to buyers” “Build a better mousetrap” “Charge the customer over and above what it costs to produce”
  11. Platform thinking can expand our thinking on ways to grow

    the business. User acquisition Product Design Monetization “Build for networking effects before you optimize the conversion funnel.” “Our product has little value unless more users engage with it.” “Think about which player is creating value, and who needs to be charged for that.”
  12. The “chicken-and-egg” problem aka. “how do you get the party

    going?” Bait for the producer Bait for the consumer Bait for the harder side Use the standalone credit card for merchants to start adopting the product. e.g. Square Build search traffic before asking local businesses to join their directory. e.g. Yelp e.g. Ladies Night at bars, pubs
  13. Picking the right monetization strategy is critical. Incentivize the Producer

    Incentivize the Consumer Transaction Cut e.g. Lower rentals for marquee brands at a mall. Monetize consumer attention through advertising, e.g. YouTube A fee for every transaction on the platform. e.g. PayPal.
  14. Successful platforms need you think about these building blocks. A

    toolbox A magnet A matchmaker e.g. The tools, libraries, etc. needed to build iOS apps e.g. a critical mass of Apple developers and users e.g. Using data to match buyers on eBay to products
  15. From dumb pipelines to intelligent platforms Resource control Internal Optimization

    Focus on customer value Resource Orchestration External Interaction Focus on ecosystem value Pipes Platforms
  16. India stack - A digital platform for a billion citizens

    Aadhar-eKYC eSign Digital locker Aadhar authentication Presence-less layer Paperless layer Unified Payment Interface Cashless layer Electronic consent Consent layer Commerce e.g. GST Credit e.g. RBI Investments e.g. SEBI …
  17. The Digital Platform Strategy Deliver faster Technology Backbone Build ecosystem

    Consistent Experience Experiment responsibly Gain insights Business Growth
  18. @1nv1nc1bl4 feedback?

  19. References • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_economy • http://www.wired.com/insights/2014/01/platform-thinking-approach-innovation/ • https://hbr.org/2013/01/three-elements-of-a-successful-platform • http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/10/why-business-models-fail-pipes-vs-platforms/ •

    https://hbr.org/2016/04/pipelines-platforms-and-the-new-rules-of-strategy • http://www.slideshare.net/ProductNation/india-stack-towards-presenceless-paperless-and-cashless-service-delivery-an-ispirt- initiative