1st Edition

Platform Strategies A Guidebook for Entrepreneurs in the Platform Economy

By Paul Belleflamme, Nicolas Neysen Copyright 2023
    282 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Over the past decade, platforms have spread through many industries and generated an increasing share of the global economy. Many of the world’s most valuable companies have adopted a platform-based business model and today, we find that platforms pervade our everyday lives. So far, however, the existing management literature has failed to provide professionals and students with appropriate tools to understand the business models that make those platforms successful. This book offers rigorous analysis of the complexity of platforms, as well as practical strategic guidance and tools to help you deal with this complexity.

    Written in an accessible style and based on a comprehensive approach, Platform Strategies is self-contained and does not require the reader to have specific prior knowledge. The book is both academically rigorous and a pragmatic and efficient guide, incorporating path-breaking insights from academic research on platforms with real-world applications of concepts and tools. The book engages with case studies and highlights important take-aways that can be implemented in practice. You’ll learn how to use new tools of strategic management and how to adapt well-established ones.

    This book is an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs (experienced or aspiring), managers of existing platforms and businesses, professionals, and students in business, management, and economics.

    Part I Value Proposition  1. Understanding and activating network effects  2. Co-creating value with platform users  Part II Value Creation  3. Assessing a platform’s competitive position  4. Launching a platform: The big challenge  Part III Value Capture  5. Monetizing a platform  6. Consolidating and growing a platform


    Paul Belleflamme is professor of economics at UCLouvain. He is the author, with Martin Peitz, of Industrial Organization: Markets and Strategies (2015) and The Economics of Platforms: Concepts and Strategy (2021).

    Nicolas Neysen is lecturer in strategy at HEC Liège (University of Liège), where he also leads the Digital Lab. He holds a PhD in Management Sciences and worked for seven years as a consultant for Accenture.

    "This is THE book for anyone interested in founding, growing, or transforming a business into a platform."

    Chiara Farronato, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

    "This book is a comprehensive take on the strategies for building platform businesses. It adapts the well-known business theory to the age of platforms and explains the unique characteristics of these businesses using a combination of a theoretical framework and a large set of case examples. Recommended reading for anyone building a platform business."

    Juho Makkonen, Co-founder and CEO, Sharetribe

    "As a co-founder and CEO of a platform, I have found this book very helpful to better understand my business and challenges, even after more than 10 years running a platform.

    The book suggests in its introduction that entrepreneurs actually (and maybe regularly) read strategy books to better run their business. I might be an exception, but I’m not sure this is often the case. It certainly isn’t my case. Why? Probably for multiple reasons like lack of time or interest or even because entrepreneurs don’t even think about it, but I believe that it is mostly because entrepreneurs believe that there is a gap between their reality and what academics think they know about it, too big a gap to get anything useful out of such a book.

    Well, I think this book might be the exception! The concepts are laid out in simple terms and the book takes a very practical approach. A must-read for platform entrepreneurs (to be) or for 'traditional' entrepreneurs willing to analyze the opportunity to move towards a platform model!"

    Charles-Albert de Radzitzky, Co-founder and CEO, Spreds

    "A tour-de-force combination of academic insights and practical relevance, Platform Strategies is a timely and masterful guidebook on value generation through platform business models."

    Michael Zhang, Irwin and Joan Jacobs Chair Professor, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University

    "Belleflamme and Neysen’s book uses sharp economic reasoning, sound managerial intuition and evocative examples to create a unique offering in the crowded space of books on the platform economy. Structuring the book around the building blocks of Value Proposition, Value Creation and Value Capture, the authors take the reader through the intricacies of digital platforms and how entrepreneurs can navigate on and around platforms. This book is rigorous, entertaining and it leaves the reader with a host of useful prescriptions on how to thrive in the platform economy."

    Tobias Kretschmer, Professor of Management and Director, Institute of Strategy, Technology and Organization, LMU Munich

    "A fabulous book. Belleflamme and Neysen translate their deep economic expertise into a concise, complete and highly accessible roadmap for launching and growing a platform business. A must-read for any entrepreneur, executive or business student looking to succeed and thrive in the rapidly evolving platform economy."

    Arun Sundararajan, Harold Price Professor of Entrepreneurship, New York University; author, The Sharing Economy

    "Finally! An easy-to-read, pragmatic, and no-nonsense toolbox for entrepreneurs who want to be successful in the booming platform business world!"

    Bart De Ridder, Intelligent Platform Services Lead France & BeNeLux, Accenture

    "With Platform Strategies, Belleflamme and Neysen offer us a valuable addition to the ideal library for platform entrepreneurs anywhere. This guidebook is a thorough yet reader-friendly volume, full of actionable principles and examples."

    Annabelle Gawer, Chaired Professor in Digital Economy, University of Surrey; co-author of The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power