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Faculty Book

The Business of Platforms

Michael A. Cusumano, Annabelle Gawer, & David B. Yoffie  |  Forthcoming May 2019

Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power

A trio of experts on high-tech business strategy and innovation reveal the principles that have made platform businesses the most valuable firms in the world and the first trillion-dollar companies. Managers and entrepreneurs in the digital era must learn to live in two worlds—the conventional economy and the platform economy. Platforms that operate for business purposes usually exist at the level of an industry or ecosystem, bringing together individuals and organizations so they can innovate and interact in ways not otherwise possible. Platforms create economic value far beyond what we see in conventional companies.

The Business of Platforms is an invaluable, in-depth look at platform strategy and digital innovation. Cusumano, Gawer, and Yoffie address how a small number of companies have come to exert extraordinary influence over every dimension of our personal, professional, and political lives. They explain how these new entities differ from the powerful corporations of the past. They also question whether there are limits to the market dominance and expansion of these digital juggernauts. Finally, they discuss the role governments should play in rethinking data privacy laws, antitrust, and other regulations that could reign in abuses from these powerful businesses.


About the Authors:
Michael Cusumano is the Sloan Management Review Distinguished Professor of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, with a joint appointment in the MIT School of Engineering. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of eleven books, including the classic bestseller Microsoft Secrets and Staying Power: Six Enduring Principles for Managing Strategy and Innovation in an Uncertain World.

Annabelle Gawer is the Professor and Chair in Digital Economy at the University of Surrey and Co-Director of CoDE, the Surrey Centre for Digital Economy in the UK. She is the author of two books Platform Leadership (with Cusumano), and Platform, Markets and Innovation.

David B. Yoffie is the Max and Doris Starr Professor of International Business Administration at Harvard Business School and is the longest-serving member of the Intel board of directors. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of nine books and has written extensively for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Harvard Business Review.