A Conversation with Authors Laure Claire Reillier & Benoit Reillier

Authors Laure Claire Reillier and Benoit Reillier have been traveling to promote their book Platform Strategy since it published this past spring.  They took the time to sit down with us to share how their insights inspired their new book.  Curious about how platforms are revolutionizing business?  Read their interview!

September 7, 2017

Authors Laure Claire Reillier and Benoit Reillier have been traveling to promote their book Platform Strategy since it published this past spring. They took the time to sit down with us to share how their insights inspired their new book. Curious about how platforms are revolutionizing business? Read their interview!

What made you decide to write this book?

We both studied computer science and telecoms in Paris. Our college was one of the first universities to be connected to the web in 1992, shortly after it was created. We remember spending a whole night checking out every single site! We quickly understood that the growth of the web was going to be exponential and that traditional firms needed to embrace the digital world. We realized however that the real benefits were accruing to firms that could change their business model in the process and harness the power of communities and networks. When working at eBay (Laure), and advising leading platforms (Benoit), we witnessed first-hand the power of platform businesses and network effects. For the first time since the industrial revolution, the rules of management were fundamentally changing and value was created through matching and connecting people rather than manufacturing things. We thought that it deserved a book on the topic.

What is the one thing you hope readers take away from this book?

Platforms are incredibly powerful business models. What they do is attract different groups of customers, match, connect and enable them to transact. They can also be combined with traditional businesses to form platform-powered ecosystems. Platforms now power our economies yet traditional rules of management do not apply to them. Platform Strategy offers tools and frameworks to successfully design, ignite and manage these new businesses.

Is there something you think is important to highlight about this topic?

Yes, we are platform enthusiasts and see great potential. Yet platforms can also be the source of problems. Especially since our societies have been shaped and molded by the needs of organizational structures and relationships born from the industrial revolution. Legal, regulatory as well as cultural changes –some of them painful- will be needed in the coming years.

What is a common misconception about this topic that you would like to clear up?

People think of ‘platforms’ as a technology challenge… yet what really matters is the business model. Yes, the underlying technology has a role to play but it is really a second order priority. The technology should follow the platform business architecture, rules and governance principles, not the other way around.

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