Platform Innovation // Blog

Why Platform Innovation is the Future of the Professional Services Industry

Applico is the world’s first Platform Innovation Company focused on building platform businesses.

So just what is Platform Innovation? It’s a form of business-model innovation that guides a business from ideation through to execution and implementation. In essence, it’s the practice of building platform businesses.

Why did we choose to focus on Platform Innovation? Because of today’s technology, platform business models are starting to disrupt every industry, from transportation to healthcare. Linear business models have dominated our economy for over a hundred years, but the 21st century will be the century of the platform. Platforms will come to dominate almost every existing industry and will also create entirely new industries.

We saw that our clients needed a partner who could provide new service offerings in order to help them successfully build platforms. That’s where Platform Innovation comes in. It provides the foundation for building a platform business, all the way from business-model ideation and strategy through to design and software engineering.

The Makings of Platform Innovation

At a recent conference focused on platforms, Zeng Ming, Chief Strategy Officer at Alibaba, said that his biggest challenge is hiring people who understand how platform businesses work.

In a Platform Innovation Company, this is especially true. In order to help our clients create disruptive platforms, everyone in our organization had to have a deep understanding of platforms.

In order to achieve this level of knowledge, Applico was rebuilt from the ground up.

Strategic Direction

The strategic direction of a Platform Innovation Company is fundamentally different than that of a traditional consulting or app development firm. Clients looking to build platform businesses have very different needs than companies who just need an app.

Organizational Structure

We’ve combined two normally separate businesses into one by bridging the worlds of strategic consulting and technology development. Our Principals all have prior experience building disruptive platforms and tech startups. They are operational leaders and business-model innovators who know how to meld strategy with product engineering to accomplish a platform’s key business objectives.

Process and Offerings

Traditional service offerings don’t address the challenges of platform business. Platforms have many benefits, like the ability to scale without increasing costs, but a new business model also brings with it new challenges. Platforms have new and unique problems that are different that those faced by linear businesses. After extensive research into how platforms work and what makes them succeed, Applico’s offerings were redesigned to address these challenges.

For example, we’ve even developed a groundbreaking design process, Exchange-Driven Design, which focuses on solving the unique challenges platform businesses face.

Putting Platform Innovation to the Test

In the past couple months, three of our early-stage platform clients raised Series A financing within 12 months of launch. Glamsquad ($7mm), StayAtHand ($3mm), and Curbstand ($3mm). Our hats are off to the founders and teams at these startups as they are the primary reason for their success and ability to raise institutional financing.

However, each of these startups needed the right partner to roll out their initial products for their platform. Without the right go-to-market strategy and products to power their platform’s growth, the startups would be in a very difficult position to get more funding in order to give it another try.

They came to us because they realized that Applico, as a Platform Innovation Company, is uniquely positioned to help build a successful platform business model from the ground up.

An app developer only focuses on one part of the equation. For a platform business, an app is just a means to an end. If that app is not fully integrated into your platform strategy and isn’t specifically designed to help facilitate interaction between your users, then it won’t accomplish your key business objectives.

That’s why traditional design and traditional app development won’t cut it. An isolated product isn’t enough. As our clients’ recent success shows, our Platform Innovation process ensures that your technology and your products will meet your business objectives to help your company grow.

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