In How Companies Become Platform Leaders, Annabelle Gawer and Michael Cusumano describe the difference between products and industry platforms. Products are proprietary and under one company’s control, whereas industry platforms are foundation technologies or services that are essential for a broader, interdependent ecosystem of businesses. Industry platforms need complementary innovations to be useful, and vice versa. In Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation, Gawer and Cusumano state that industry platforms are often associated with “network effects”: that is, the more participants who adopt the platform, the more valuable it becomes because of growing access to the network and complementary innovations.
Month: May 2015
As the disruptive scenarios emerge and evolve, I see them coalescing in the form of multi-industry business ecosystems. An ecosystem, in scientific terms, is a group of living or non-living things that depends upon each other to thrive. A business ecosystem is a self-organizing network (typically enabled by e-commerce and/or social technologies) whose participants exchange value around a common purpose. Because every industry today can be considered an ecosystem, the question is how those industries will evolve as a result of the disruptive scenarios.