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Digital Platform Successes and Failures - learning from Prof Shaz Ansari, Skyscanner and dunnhumby

The platform is the Holy Grail in the digital economy - yet $ millions of funding is wasted each month as the reality of platform design, build, launch, scale and monetisation is challenging.

The goal is clear: to create value by enabling interaction between more than two types of customers; to create repeat usage, build dependency and develop a range of revenue streams.

Text book cases like Amazon, Airbnb, Klarna and Spotify provide the templates, yet the majority make basic mistakes: mispricing, lack of trust, dismissing the competition or entering too late.

95% of apps are deleted after just 3 usage sessions.

Our customers have been asking us to help them demystify the world of platform business. Some are corporates reinventing legacy products for the digital age. Some are founders validating new their platform concept behind the design and build phases.

The Digital Platform Accelerator is developed in partnership with a team of platform experts who explain the principles of platform business, share tips for building profitable platform models and show the mistakes to avoid.

◽ Shaz Ansari, Professor of Strategy & Innovation, Cambridge Judge Business School lays down the principles of platform business [Spotting your Platform Niche, 16 Sept]

◽ Neeraj Gehani, Global Product Director, explains the design and build journey for dunnhumby’s Retail Media platform [Platform Design & Build, 30 Sept]

◽ Ron David Sachs, Commercial & Strategic Leader, shares lessons in developing Skyscanner’s app, used by 100 million the people each month [Launch, Learn and Scale, 7 Oct]

◽ Hamza Mudassir, Lecturer of Strategy at Cambridge Judge Business School, Entrepreneur and Author shows the mistakes to avoid [Successes and Failures, 21 Oct]

We ran the Platform Accelerator pilot over the summer to test the course which gave us valuable feedback from a global cohort of fintech, medtech, media and manufacturing businesses.

The pilot revealed the common platform questions they face, and framed the design of our upcoming Accelerator program which tackles the key platform challenges:

  • What is your role and value in the platform ecosystem?

  • How much do people – supply-side or demand-side - need you?

  • Is your platform idea compellingly simple? Can your IP be protected or easily copied?

  • Is there an unrecognised niche that can be mined/exploited? If so, how will it grow and what capital is required?

  • What insights do you have on context, resources and limitations?

  • Are you providing dependency and ‘stickiness’?

  • How do you keep suppliers and/or customers onboard and prevent them being lured away by copycats/similar services?

Source: Peter Williamson and Arnoud de Meyer: Ecosystem Edge: Sustaining Competitiveness in the Face of Disruption

Unlike other courses, our Platform Accelerator gets you working in teams, creating and pitching your own platform roadmap and testing it with others on the course before bringing back to your business.


To find out more on the upcoming program starting 9th September, please visit

We have limited places available. To claim your £100 discount please use Promo code Platform100

Feedback from the pilot Platform Accelerator

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