Digital Transformation: Platform Strategies for Success

Digital Transformation: Platform Strategies for Success is a 3-month course that introduces participants to the many ways networked markets are transforming the economy, and provides strategies for designing, monetizing, and launching a digital platform.

In this course you will learn about the fundamentals of digital transformation, identify why platforms beat products and how can you make your business a platform. You will learn how to launch and grow a digital platform and identify how to leverage open innovation for your platform. This course also equips you with the knowledge on governing your platform, strategically evaluating your competition and provides you with a futuristic view of digital transformation across industries.

At the end of this course, participants will learn to:

– Define platform businesses, distinguishing among input suppliers, markets and true platforms, and why these differences matter.

– Recognize and know how to compete in winner-take-all markets, one and two-sided networks, and the context of multi-homing.

– Understand how traditional pricing models break down in the context of platforms, choosing from an array of freemium, bundled, and two-sided pricing.

– Address the barriers that firms face in trying to organize themselves as platform firms.

– Develop strategies for launching new platforms when critical mass is important.

– Articulate the process of making markets.

– Identify the launch strategy for their platform to help them gain traction, and grow their platform by leveraging modularity and APIs.

– Develop recovery strategies in declining platform markets and understand timing in the cannibalization of an old platform by a new one.

– Understand the anti-trust implications of platform strategies and safe harbor defenses.

– Gain insights into the impact and opportunities of adopting platform strategies in different industries.

This course provides an opportunity to work on real-life platform-related business ideas and case studies. Industry examples covered include case studies from companies such as:

Duration and Course Fee

  • Starts 12 June 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 - 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1500


Geoffrey Parker

Director, Master of Engineering Management Program, Dartmouth College

Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Course Highlights

  • 80Video Lectures
  • 6Assignments
  • 1Capstone Project
  • 5Case Studies
  • 4Webinars
  • 8Discussions
  • 1Text Book (Optional)



a) Pre-read – Chapter 1 of Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – After Google Maps added navigation, the value of stand-alone GPS makers fell by as much as 85%



a) Module Introduction & Definitions : Linear Vs Triangular Value Chains

b) The Product Service Business Model is Broken

c) What Changes : Marketing

d) What Changes : Finance

e) What Changes : Supply Chains

f) What Changes : Internal Organization

g) What Changes : Innovation



a) Individual assignment – Reflective :Can you predict which elements of your business are likely to be transformed by new competitors or new entrants?


a) Pre-read – Chapter 2 – Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Apple vs. Google: Did Apple Learn Anything from its War with Microsoft?


a) Module Introduction

– Network Effects

– Business Platform Definitions

– Distinctive Challenges

b) Demand Vs Supply side scale economies

c) Tradition Linear Value Chain

d) Homing and Switching Costs

e) Two sided-networks



a) Group Case Study – Intuit Quickbooks : From Product to Platform


a) Pre-read – Chapter 3 and 6 –Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – How to value a free customer?

c) Pre-read – Strategies for Two-Sided Markets

d) Pre-read – Why does Amazon give away free chapters?


a) Pipe Thinking Vs Platform Thinking

b) Traditional Supply Chain & Creating a B2C Platform

c) So how do you design a platform? – 3 Principles of Platform Design

d) How do we optimize the platform value chain?

e) How Architecture Can Increase Network Effects

f) Minimum Viable Platform – LinkedIn Example

g) Monetization

h) Platform Flows & 4 ways to Monetize a Platform



a) Individual Assignment – Upwork


a) Pre-read – Chapter 5 – Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – Two-sided Platforms

c) Pre-read – Article – Google Health, Microsoft Health and WebMD


a) Module Introduction – Paypal story where Persistence Pays

b) 8 ways to solve the chicken-or-egg problem :

– Follow the Rabbit

– Piggyback Strategy

– Seeding Strategy

– The Marquee Strategy

– Single Side Strategy

– The Producer Evangelism Strategy

– Big Bang Strategy

– Micromarket Strategy

c) Network Effects : Consumer First

d) Network Effects : Producer first

e) Closing the Loop

f) Modularity : Introduction

g) Modularity : Architecture of Computer Industry

h) Modularity : Key to Cloud Computing : APIs



a) Individual Assignment – Google Health, Microsoft Health Vault and WebMD


a) Pre-read – Chapter 7– Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – Makerbot Case Study


a) Open Innovation – Use Internal & External Ideas

b) What is Openness and Does Openness Matter?

c) Business Platfoms – Microeconomies

d) Value Capture & Taxation of Platform Ecosystems

e) Impact of Openness Decisions

f) Google Reasserts Control over Android

g) Apple : What to Control and Absorb?


a) Group Case Study – Makerbot Case


a) Pre-read – Chapter 8– Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – SAP Case


a) Why Govern Platforms?

b) What do we mean by “Governance”?

c) How do you Govern Well? What are the tools?

d) Platform Regulatory Tools

e) Platform Governance Tools



a) Group Case Study – SAP Case


a) Pre-read – Chapter 10 – Platform Revolution (Optional)

b) Pre-read – Eden McCallum Case


a) Why Platforms Beat Products

b) What Changes : Strategy

c) Why Platform Strategy Differs

d) Why Are The Old Competitors Not The New Competitors

e) Network Effects & Inverting the Firm Changes


a) Group Case Study – Eden McCallum Case


a) Platform disruption in the Media Industry

b) Platform Future in the Professional Services Industry

c) Platform Future in the Education Industry

d) Platform Future in the Finance Industry

e) Platform Future in the Healthcare Industry

f) Platform Future in the Energy Industry

g) Platform Future in Government


Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Capital

  • Global Business Education
  • Rigorous and experiential curriculum
  • World-renowned faculty
  • Globally Connected Classroom: Peer to Peer Learning Circles
  • Action Learning: Learning by Doing


Brand Capital

  • Certificate from EMERITUS in collaboration with MIT Sloan


Social Capital

  • Build new networks through peer
  • Benefit from diverse class profiles


Career Capital

  • Professional Acceleration through
    our enriched leadership toolkit
  • Learn while you earn
  • Get noticed. Get ahead.

Duration and Course Fee

  • Starts 12 June 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 – 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1500

Geoffrey Parker

Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Duration and Course Fee

  • Starts 12 June 2019
  • 2 Months
  • 2 - 4 hours per week
  • Course Fees USD 1500


Geoffrey Parker

Director, Master of Engineering Management Program, Dartmouth College

Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE)

Other Programs

Global Ivy Emeritus Institute of Management