The evolution of platform business models: Exploring competitive battles in the world of platforms

In recent decades, multi-sided platform business models have become an important avenue for value creation and capture, but the phenomenon itself remains under-theorized. We address this gap and present new, empirically-driven insights into how platform business models evolve in a context of fierce competition. Through a longitudinal, qualitative study of twelve multi-sided platforms that operate under challenging industry conditions, we discover that success in platform battles can plausibly be explained by a combination of complexity in the business model design, and the simultaneous use of innovation and imitation to create highly intricate systems of activities. We further discuss how our findings open several new avenues for future platform research.

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CC BY 4.0