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The Acceleration of Platform Shifts

April 06, 2015

Marshall Van Alstyne,  professor at Boston University’s School of Management and a Research Scientist at MIT’s IDE, will discuss Platform Shift: How New Business Models Are Changing the Shape of Industry, in London on April 10.

Van Alstyne joins IDE co-directors and authors of The Second Machine Age, Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee, as well as Roberto Rigobon, MIT Professor of Management and Applied Economics, at the upcoming conference.

A few key concepts from Van Alstyne’s research are highlighted below. A video of a previous presentation on The Rise of the Platform can be viewed here.

Platform firms are quickly displacing traditional market leaders, he says. What’s causing this change?

Van Alstyne notes that BlackBerry’s unraveling is just one example of strong products that did not open their ecosystem to become platforms.

In an upcoming new book, Van Alstyne and co-authors explain how platform communities, not great products, will have the market edge going forward. “The rules have changed,” he says.

In this new scenario, Van Alstyne says that yesterday’s leaders must take note of new types of competitors reshaping tomorrow’s marketplace. Companies that are able to transform their linear business model into a network model will have a competitive advantage.