The Race for Platform Dominance

The Race for Platform Dominance Published October 2019 Analyst: Michael Coletta


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In 2011, Marc Andreessen, co-author of the first widely used web browser (since turned venture capitalist) famously proclaimed that "software is eating the world," observing that global economies were shifting from being hardware-based to software-based. Fast forward just a few years, and this saying already requires an update: Platforms are eating the world.

What's the distinction? Platform companies are software companies, but with a twist. In traditional supply-side software, the program itself is the product, which is produced internally by the company's employees and shipped to customers in a linear process. But in a platform company, the product is created externally, connecting producers and consumers (or buyers and sellers) with each other in a digital, demand-side marketplace. The resulting network itself becomes the backbone of the product.

  • Note
  • Introduction
  • The Ultimate Platform
  • Travel Intermediaries Defend Their Turf
  • The Dilemma of Suppliers in a Platform-First World
  • Piecing It All Together
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