In just a few weeks, Simon Torrance, Author & World Economic Forum Digital Platforms & Ecosystems Executive Working Group Member, will be hosting our next GERBUS Knowledge Day (June, 6th): Platform Business Model Revolution

We stole a few minutes of his time to share some of his thoughts with us…

What is your key message for June, 6th?

All leaders of all companies need to renew their business models if they want to grow or even survive in an increasingly digital economy. The most powerful business model in a hyperconnected world is the platform business model. All companies need to understand how this works in much greater depth and create a strategy for incorporating platform thinking into their growth plans.

Why is this topic relevant?

Over 90% of C-level executives at incumbent organisations are worried that their current business models are not economically viable as their sector digitalises. They are investing more and more money into digital projects, but >85% are generating zero or negative profit (after cost of capital) from these investments. They need to do something different if they want to grow.

At the same time, platforms are forecast to mediate circa 30% of global economic activity in ten years time (that’s $60 trillion). Yet, few leaders understand how platforms work and even fewer (<2%) have an effective strategy to compete in this very different world.

So, learning about how platform business models work and how to create a strategy for leveraging them is critical for leaders.

What is the main challenge?

Mindset and experience. Leaders are expert in operating certain types of business models. But platform business models are radically different. Therefore understanding them is needed first, then an effective strategy supported by a significant re-allocation of capital and resources is needed to move the needle.

Any particular expectations on your side when meeting our members?

Be open minded and creative: be prepared to think differently about your organisation’s role as new digital ecosystems emerge and how value can be created and captured.

What are you currently working on?

I am writing a book called Fightback, about how traditional organisations can beat digital disruption and old ways of thinking and acting to create a better future: I am organising the Platform Economy Summit, 16-19 September in Frankfurt: (GERBUS; Also part of our Future Lab #PlatformBusiness program).

Simon, thank you for your time & looking forward to be seeing you in Hamburg, June, 6th – GERBUS Knowledge Day: Platform Business Model Revolution

Henrik Lauridsen
GERBUS Executive Forum
May 2019

Platform Business Model Revolution