Firms such as Apple, Alibaba, Facebook, SalesForce, Uber and Yelp operate platform ecosystems that match buyers and sellers, gain value and market share from network effects, and harness their users to innovate.
This course teaches you how to convert products to platforms and how to innovate in a platform environment. You will learn how to negotiate platform startup, convert existing products to platforms, and make vital decisions on issues of openness, cannibalization, and competition.
Learners in this course will solve real-life problems using concepts from two sided networks, information asymmetry, pricing, intellectual property, and game theory.
The instructor for this course literally wrote the book on the topic: " Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy --and How to Make Them Work for You. "
This course is part of both the Digital Leadership and Product Management MicroMasters programs.
Estimated 6 weeks -
4–8 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
*Optional upgrade available for Verified Track
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Course is for
Entrepreneurs and Professionals.
A willingness to explore economics
No prerequisite knowledge is required for this course.
What you will learn
- How to successfully launch and design a business platform
Why platform firms beat product firms and how the structure of platform firms is fundamentally different
Why traditional platform pricing models fail and how to choose a successful pricing model
How to compete in winner-take-all network markets.
Week 1: Foundations
What's happening in the economy. Why platform firms are fundamentally different than product firms.
Week 2: Architecture
Components of and design principles of successful platforms.
Week 3: Launch
Strategies for solving the chicken-or-egg problem and how to gain critical mass.
Week 4: Monetization
Why pricing is different in platform markets and how to choose price.
Week 5: Open vs Closed
How Steve Jobs got it wrong the 1st time. How to choose what to give away and what to keep.
Week 6: Strategy
Why product strategies fail for platforms and how to compete in a network market.
About your instructors
Marshall Van Alstyne
Questrom Professor of Management and Chair of Information Systems at Boston University
Marshall Van Alstyne (@InfoEcon) is coauthor of Platform Revolution , an international bestseller. He is one of the world's foremost experts on information business models snd is Questrom Chair professor at Boston University and a Digital Fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. He is a frequent speaker, board level advisor, and consultant to both startups and global firms. His research has received half a dozen academic awards and appeared in top journals such as Science , Nature and Harvard Business Review. Interviews appear regularly across Bloomberg , The Economist , The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. He holds multiple patents and has received a B.A. in computer science from Yale, an M.S. in Management and a PhD in Information Systems from the MIT Sloan School. His theories of network businesses are taught worldwide.
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