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Platform Ecosystems

Book Description

Platform Ecosystems is a hands-on guide that offers a complete roadmap for designing and orchestrating vibrant software platform ecosystems. Unlike software products that are managed, the evolution of ecosystems and their myriad participants must be orchestrated through a thoughtful alignment of architecture and governance.   Whether you are an IT professional or a general manager, you will benefit from this book because platform strategy here lies at the intersection of software architecture and business strategy. It offers actionable tools to develop your own platform strategy, backed by original research, tangible metrics, rich data, and cases. You will learn how architectural choices create organically-evolvable, vibrant ecosystems. You will also learn to apply state-of-the-art research in software engineering, strategy, and evolutionary biology to leverage ecosystem dynamics unique to platforms. Read this book to learn how to:

  • Evolve software products and services into vibrant platform ecosystems
  • Orchestrate platform architecture and governance to sustain competitive advantage
  • Govern platform evolution using a powerful 3-dimensional framework

If you’re ready to transform platform strategy from newspaper gossip and business school theory to real-world competitive advantage, start right here!



  • Understand how architecture and strategy are inseparably intertwined in platform ecosystems
  • Architect future-proof platforms and apps and amplify these choices through governance 
  • Evolve platforms, apps, and entire ecosystems into vibrant successes and spot platform opportunities in almost any—not just IT—industry

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. Dedication
  6. Introduction
  7. Part I: The Rise of Platforms
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1. The Rise of Platform Ecosystems
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 1.1 The war of ecosystems
      4. 1.2 Platform ecosystems
      5. 1.3 Drivers of the migration toward platforms
      6. 1.4 Lessons learned
      7. References
    3. Chapter 2. Core Concepts and Principles
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 2.1 Introduction
      4. 2.2 Core concepts
      5. 2.3 Guiding principles
      6. 2.4 Lessons learned
      7. References
    4. Chapter 3. Why Platform Businesses Are Unlike Product or Service Businesses
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 3.1 Introduction
      4. 3.2 Why platforms need a different mindset
      5. 3.3 How products and services can evolve into platforms
      6. 3.4 Lessons learned
      7. References
    5. Chapter 4. The Value Proposition of Platforms
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 4.1 Platform owners
      4. 4.2 App developers
      5. 4.3 End-Users
      6. 4.4 Lessons learned
      7. References
  8. Part II: Architecture and Governance
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 5. Platform Architecture
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 5.1 How unemployed hairdressers became France’s mathematical champions
      4. 5.2 Complexity: the Achilles heel of platforms
      5. 5.3 The two functions of ecosystem architecture
      6. 5.4 Ecosystem architecture
      7. 5.5 Four desirable properties of platform architectures
      8. 5.6 Modularity of architectures
      9. 5.7 Goldilocks strikes again
      10. 5.8 Two mechanisms for modularization
      11. Chapter summary
      12. References
    3. Chapter 6. Platform Governance
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 6.1 Platform governance as the blueprint for ecosystem orchestration
      4. 6.2 Three dimensions of platform governance
      5. 6.3 Aligning governance
      6. Chapter summary
      7. References
  9. Part III: Dynamics and Metrics of Ecosystem Evolution
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 7. Metrics of Evolution
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 7.1 Three roles of evolutionary metrics
      4. 7.2 Three guiding principles
      5. 7.3 An overview of metrics of evolution in platform ecosystems
      6. 7.4 Short-term metrics of evolution
      7. 7.5 Medium-term metrics of evolution
      8. 7.6 Long-term metrics of evolution
      9. 7.7 Lessons learned
      10. References
    3. Chapter 8. Real Options Thinking in Ecosystem Evolution
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 8.1 An introduction to real options thinking
      4. 8.2 Volatility in technologies and markets
      5. 8.3 Types of real options
      6. 8.4 Applying real options thinking in practice
      7. 8.5 Exercising real options: the devil is in the details
      8. 8.6 Lessons learned
      9. References
    4. Chapter 9. Modular Operators: Platform Ecosystems’ Evolutionary Baby Steps
      1. In This Chapter
      2. 9.1 An overview of modular operators
      3. 9.2 Lessons learned
      4. References
  10. Part IV: Orchestrating Evolution
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 10. Evolving a Platform
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 10.1 The bathtub model: ecosystem innovation as stocks and flows
      4. 10.2 Orchestrating platform evolution: a preview
      5. 10.3 Orchestrating Short-Term platform evolution
      6. 10.4 Orchestrating Medium-Term platform evolution
      7. 10.5 Orchestrating Long-Term platform evolution
      8. 10.6 Lessons learned
      9. References
    3. Chapter 11. Evolving an App
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 11.1 Dynamics of platform markets
      4. 11.2 The Eureka moment and the origin of apps
      5. 11.3 How app microarchitecture shapes app evolvability
      6. 11.4 Evolving an app: a preview
      7. 11.5 Evolving an app in the short term
      8. 11.6 Evolving an app in the medium term
      9. 11.7 Evolving an app in the long term
      10. 11.8 Lessons learned
      11. References
  11. Part V: The Road Ahead
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 12. Every Product Is a Platform Waiting to Happen
      1. Abstract
      2. In This Chapter
      3. 12.1 Idea 1: migration to ecosystem competition
      4. 12.2 Idea 2: ecosystem orchestration drives evolutionary survival
      5. 12.3 Idea 3: Orchestration Requires Interlocking of Ecosystem Architecture and Governance
      6. References
  12. About the Author
  13. References
  14. Glossary
  15. Index