Platform Innovation // Blog

The Platform Innovation Toolkit: How and Why to Use It

If you follow us here at Applico and you’re interested in all things platform, you’re a fan of the book Modern Monopolies, or you want to learn why platforms are the cornerstone for 21st-century digital transformation, we have the perfect tool for you: our Platform Innovation Toolkit.

This toolkit comes in three parts, and it will help you understand the design, purpose, and utility of platforms. You’ll also learn why modern businesses built on platform fundamentals are more likely to succeed than their traditional linear counterparts.

Here are the three major sections of the Toolkit, which you can download by signing up for the newsletter at the bottom of our website.

The Platform Business Model Canvas

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. This is certainly true when it comes to mapping out a platform business model.

The Platform Business Model Canvas is a single-page diagram that doubles as a worksheet, showing you the key interlocking considerations of platform businesses such as the Value Exchange, Producers, Consumers, Transactions, Infrastructure, and more.

By filling out the canvas, you and your team can get an immediate high-level view of what a new platform business will look like and how it will function — whether you hope to build a platform from the ground up, or spin one out from your existing enterprise.

Glossary of Platform Terms

Whether you want to understand technical concepts like Metcalfe’s Law, or how economic concepts such as economies of scale or path dependence apply to platforms, you’ll get it out of our Glossary of Platform Terms.

The glossary will help you understand the terminology we use to describe platforms, how they work, and the intricacies involved in their design and deployment.

Read through it and you’ll have more clarity on some of the vernacular that comes up in our web series Winner Take All. Or refer to these definitions anytime you come across terms in our blog, white papers, and other content that you want more context for.

Platform Innovation 101

Last but not least is the Platform Innovation 101 overview: a complete overview of platform theory will help you grasp all the fundamentals and start piecing together this business model for your own prospective venture.

The first section can be thought of as a crash course. It includes the definitions of platforms and linear businesses, examples of each, the value chain of a linear company and the value ecosystem of a platform, and the specific kinds of challenges platforms must overcome. It also features visuals that show you and your team how platforms perform compared to their linear counterparts.

In the second section of the overview, “Reinventing Your Business,” all the knowledge gets practical, complete with exercises and worksheets. Here, we use Walmart in a hypothetical scenario of enterprise venture building. You can follow the thinking that’s involved in platform design from the earliest stages, as you think of reimagining your own business as a platform. Finally, we plug all the components of the fictional spinoff into the Platform Business Model Canvas, revealing the bird’s-eye view of a successful platform operation.

Work out your ideas with the canvas and worksheets to create productive discussions around future directions for your enterprise and to start planning out your company’s competitive stance against the modern tech monopolies.

The Platform Innovation Toolkit is our gift to you for subscribing to our weekly newsletter, and it will give you and your team a leg up on platform design. To stay in the loop and get these exclusive tools, sign up below for our newsletter today.

If you’re already signed up for our Platform Innovation Newsletter, you can download the toolkit below.

Download Platform Innovation Toolkit

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