Learning from MIT: 8 Strategies for successful digital platforms

MIT, Boston Appartment

The strategy  from MIT for digital platforms has never been so clear.

This article came up at the right time and at the right moment when I was browsing through the content at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Derived good insight by reading through the content. I am sure, the content would excite others as well in this field.

I would like to thank the authors from MIT executive education, Innovation@work blog, in posting this wonderful article. Some of the strategies are so mundane that it never occurred to us. There are so many ways that are possible to give our online digital platforms a new start.

The push and pull strategy with respect to a non-platform and a digital platform was very much relevant. The push strategy might work well in a traditional brick and mortar industry. The push is what is being followed through advertising and focused PR in traditional industries. The concept of reciprocity and attracting the users through rewards and recognition based pull strategies work very well in online platforms.

“Users should feel the need to come back”

As rightly pointed out, the needs and the reciprocity should be built into the platform. The reciprocity should be in such a way that needs promotes repeat users and referral cases.

Geoffrey Parker a research fellow at the MIT institute on the digital economy, says through his book “Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy – And How to Make Them Work for You”, that there has always been a dilemma in people who run and manage digital enterprises.  They had the proverbial “Chicken and egg” question. But then, he says that both the “Push” and “Pull” strategies can be used intermittently on and off.

He goes on to propose 8 digital strategies for meeting this challenge and dilemma in his book and how successful digital platforms can be launched.  Examples of world’s best global multinationals, who made it big on the Digital platforms were also provided.

Please find the 8 successful digital platform launch strategies from MIT executive education, Innovation@work blog.

  1. Follow the rabbit strategy – Example: Amazon.
  2. Piggy back strategy – Example: PayPal piggy backed on EBay.
  3. The seeding strategy – Example: Adobe.
  4. Marquee strategy – A common strategy adopted by a large number of companies. Providing incentives and rewards for people participation and contribution.
  5. The single side strategy – Example: Open table.
  6. The producer evangelism strategy – Example: Skill share
  7. Big bang adoption strategy –  Example: Twitter
  8. The micro market strategy – Example: Facebook

Each of the 8 strategies presented were stellar. All of them have their own merits and demerits, some were pure pull, while others were push.

The big bang strategy adopted by Twitter needs to have a huge marketing budget backed by sponsors. Twitter’s big bang moment came up in 2007 when it hung up giant screens during the South by South west festival. Users were able to see their won tweets and their user base tripled by the end of the festival. This was a typical push strategy adopted by the company.

In my personal opinion, the marquee strategy can be used with a low budget and development costs. We develop the product in such a way it appeals to a certain cross section of producers and consumers. Once this section of consumers and producers get satisfied they will spread it and go on inviting others.

We invite readers to go through the below link for more resources on the 8 strategies.


Link from MIT executive education blog : http://executive.mit.edu/blog/8-ways-to-launch-a-successful-digital-platform

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Ramkumar Yaragarla

I am 43 years old. Founder, Loving dad and Husband. Worked as an IT Business analyst and program manager in several Fortune 100 companies.Alumnus at the University of Warwick, UK. I love the WWW and write on Social aspects of information, Social collaboration, Digital Sociology, Digital Humanities and Work life balance. I enjoy playing on the beach with my 9 year old daughter. I am open to your suggestions and comments.
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