How to Succeed in the Platform Economy

The platform economy is a disruptive, innovative business model that’s already having a great impact on many different industries. Rather than focusing on a product strategy, the platform economy instead relies on an extra ecosystem to generate complementary product or service innovations.

This creates a greater potential for growth and innovation, with many successful examples within the platform economy including businesses such as Amazon, iTunes and Uber. These have all shaken up the retail, music and transport industries respectively, showing how it can be possible to gain a competitive advantage in the platform economy.


There are various types of platform economies, including transaction, integration and investment platforms. To get ahead in any of these areas, innovation is required. This could be through developing something that offers complementary products or services to existing companies within the platform economy or creating something brand new.

No matter what type of model you adopt, the platform must connect workers or sellers directly to customers and make sure payment passes through the platform. As RSM has noted before, the platform economy is a good example of globalization, enabling buyers and sellers to work together across the world. Whether it’s selling books or arranging transportation, it offers plenty of innovative opportunities.

Utilise Big Data

One of the key areas of the platform business model and economy is the huge capture and analysis of data. This links in to innovation, as it can be gathered and analysed for excellent levels of insight, for driving any business forward. Plus, all the data you manage to gather can give a good idea of how successful your platform business is and where improvements need to be made.

In the age of GDPR though, companies need to be careful and make sure they are sticking to the correct guidelines and regulation. Big data is an important factor that’s being utilized by many modern businesses and industries and so to succeed in the platform economy it’s a must.

Embrace Cloud Computing

The nature of work and the economy is already changing in reaction to the boom of big data and cloud computing. All the leaders in the platform economy use cloud computing at some stage within their business models and it provides extra power for both existing and start-ups in the sector.

Sharing and speed are key parts of the platform economy and cloud computing offers both of these aspects. The likes of Uber and Airbnb, two of the platform economy’s leading lights, perfectly embody both of these aspects. Therefore, to remain competitive, any new business needs to at least match the best traits of the competition.

The platform economy continues to evolve, providing various opportunities for new businesses to succeed within it.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.