Platform Strategies for Business in the Digital Age

21/02/2019 |
Platform Strategies
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Platforms have been transforming entire sectors of the economy, marginalizing incumbents and enabling small startups to rise rapidly to global dominance. Many of the world’s most valuable companies are platforms. 70% of the world’s top 10 companies by market capitalization(Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, Microsoft, Facebook et al) and 70% of the $1 billion+ unicorn startups (Didi, Airbnb, Uber et al) operate open ecosystems that match buyers and sellers, gain enormous value and market share from network effects, and harness their users to innovate.

But even your local health club makes much of its money not by what it sells but by facilitating the interactions or transactions of others—just like farmers’ markets or stock exchanges already do.

Regardless of your industry, now you can too. Unexplored potential for platformization lie in many domains and value chains. Attend our 1-day highly interactive Platform Strategies Masterclass to learn how to convert existing products and services to Minimum Viable Platforms and walk step by step through adopting a platform strategy.

Get your ticket for the Masterclass here.

What you will walk away with

You will learn a design framework to rollout platform strategies that activate ecosystems. This Masterclass will equip you with immediately actionable tools and techniques to build, scale and govern your own platform. You will:

  • Identify approaches to building two-sided or multi-sided B2B or B2C marketplaces and select the right one for you;
  • Scan and mobilise the ecosystem and analyse platform adoption at firms like Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb, Tinder, with key success metrics and pitfalls;
  • Define a go-to-market strategy to grow both supply and demand on the platform and build a strong network effect;
  • Recognise and know how to compete in networked economies and winner-take-all markets.

After building your understanding and capacity, you will design a platform business model for your own company with key strategic components (e.g. openness, cannibalization, competition) and a pathway for adoption. Together, we will build a roadmap with step by steps actions to validate your platform ideas and test it through a lean prototyping approach.

You’ll be able to apply the learning directly to your company, product, service, an existing platform or to a market that you are thinking to access.

For whom?

Whatever your business is, you are or you will most likely compete with or build on top of existing platforms. This game needs to be played with platform rules.

This Masterclass is designed for business leaders to operate effectively in platform environments by providing a set of theories, frameworks and tools to transform existing businesses or launch new ventures. Anyone from CEOs, CTOs and CMOs, to operation managers, service designers and R&D officers, whose responsibilities require forward-looking innovative business thinking will benefit from this Masterclass.

Nonprofit can also use the learning from this Masterclass to mobilise their users and create greater value with lower cost, and customised solutions for their communities.

To foster teamwork and maximize the learning impact, we encourage both individuals and teams to attend.


Morning 08:30 – 12:30


What makes platforms special and powerful? How are platforms fundamentally different than product firms? Why do platform businesses often generate winner-take-all outcomes?


How can traditional products or services businesses be transformed into platforms? When does it make sense to undertake this transformation? How to address the barriers firms face in organising themselves in platform businesses?


Why is platform design different than product and service design? How to map the ecosystem and motivate users? How does a platform’s architecture choices resolve conflicting interests of its multiple constituents? What should platforms own and what should they not?


How many sides should a platform have? Which side should you start growing first and how? How to solve the chicken-or-egg problem, gain critical mass and ignite network effect? How to deal with competition and multi-homing?


In this interactive hands-on session you will scan and mobilise open ecosystems and produce a platform business model for your own or your next company. We will utilize a proven Platform Canvas tool to facilitate the work. Working in groups, participants review each other’s canvas and prototype a Minimum Viable Platform.

12:30 – 13:30 Working Lunch

Afternoon 13:30 – 17:00


How to choose a successful revenue model for platforms? Under what conditions should a platform subsidize the participation of one or multiple sides? How should the pricing structure change over the platform’s lifecycle?


What tools can ease access to your platform, facilitate transactions, reduce frictions and provide further support to your users? What AI, tech and other third-party integrations should be embedded into the platform? How to optimise the matching between supply and demand? How to improve how your value proposition is communicated to your users?


How much control should a platform take over the interactions it enables? What curation mechanisms will increase traction and ignite network effect on your platform? How to build a community and grow both supply and demand simultaneously? How to avoid legal risks and users bypassing your platform?


What data strategy and metrics can be implemented to measure successful platform transactions? How do these metrics differ from those implemented by linear business models? How metrics should evolve in the growing phase of a platform?


Do platforms play by different rules and should they? When and how should platforms be regulated? Can platforms become anti-competitive monopolies? What antitrust and other policies platforms should watch out for?


Why blockchain and cryptonetworks represent the new frontier of platform business models? How to design decentralised autonomous organisations and integrate distributed ledger technologies into a platform? What permission (private) and permissionless (public) approaches to implement to blockchain-powered platforms?

Evening 17:00 – 20:00


Participants can request short and individualised coaching sessions (15 min each) with the trainers after the Masterclass.

How the Masterclass works

Preparation: bring forward an existing platform, idea of a platform or market opportunity that you want to develop or optimise during the Masterclass.

Content: 20% briefing, 10% case study, 50% gamification and exercise, 20% feedback loop and discussion.

Maximum group size: 25 people.

Language: English with facilitation in Norwegian.

Handouts: A platform toolbox and success checklist will be provided before and after the course.

Required Expertise: For both beginners and experts.

Ticket and cancellation policy

If this Masterclass is not confirmed, you’ll receive a full refund of your registration fee. If the trainers have to cancel due to unforeseeable circumstances you’ll receive a full refund of your registration fee. Please note that travel or other costs will not be refunded.

Make sure you select the right ticketing option. If you’re a EU registered VAT holder you will save 24% VAT.

Group discounts (more than 5 people from your team) and very few discounts (for those who can not afford the ticket price) are available. Get in touch to find out more.

If you cancel your ticket up to one week before the Masterclass, you’ll receive a full refund. No refund will be offered as of one week before the Masterclass. You can however transfer your ticket to a colleague from the same organisation at no extra charge.

Ticket invoices will be issued and sent to you after the event.


Marco is CEO at Euro Freelancers, a curated marketplace for consulting and legal services on-demand. He is former Secretary General, now Board Member, at the European Sharing Economy Coalition, a network representing companies in the on-demand economy. In that framework he has conducted governmental relations and public affairs for a number of platforms like Airbnb, Uber and Ebay.

In the last years Marco has led a number of training events across Europe to help organisations design, launch, monetise and scale their own digital marketplaces and use platform strategies to gain competitive advantage. He has trained more than 250 people from leading organisations around the world in public and private sector across industries. His last masterclass took place on November 21, 2018 in Helsinki and was attended by large Finnish companies and SMEs.

About Me | Linkedin | Twitter | Medium

Karen is a former strategic procurement officer at Dell, now Director at Euro Freelancers. In her role she has raised over 10M€ of EU and private funding for SMEs and small businesses to scale their platform businesses.

Karen is also author of The Lean Solopreneur, a compendium of advice for the new workers generation to become more confident in leading a solo business practice. Karen has led 5 mastrclassess accross Europe on topics ranging from management of distributed workforce to professional services marketplace building.

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Get your ticket for the Masterclass here.