Platform Strategies for Business


Wednesday, November 21st, 2018. 9AM-5PM.
Väinö Kallio, Hämeentie 11, Helsinki
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Platform Strategies for Business: Learn how you can design, launch, monetise and compete in a networked platform market.

Platforms have been transforming entire sectors of the economy, marginalising incumbents and enabling small startups to rise rapidly to global dominance. Many of the world’s most valuable companies are platforms. Facebook, Alibaba, Uber, and Apple operate open ecosystems that match buyers and sellers, gain enormous value and market share from network effects, and harness their users to innovate.

But even your local health club makes much of its money not by what it sells but by facilitating the interactions or transactions of others.

Regardless of your industry, now you can too. Attend our 1-day highly interactive Platform Strategies Masterclass to learn how to convert existing products and services into platforms and walk step by step through adopting a platform strategy.

This Masterclass will equip you with immediately actionable tools that can be applied directly to your company, product, service, an existing platform or to a market that you are thinking to access.

Marco Torregrossa advises companies, large and small, on how to rethink the way they staff their projects and flexibilise their workforce. Through masterclasses he has coached business leaders around the world to build, scale and govern their own platforms and create digital marketplaces focused on services provided by contingent workers.

Kimmo Karhu is a platform strategy expert with doctoral degree from Aalto University and a seasoned teacher on digital strategy with experience from both university and executive education. Kimmo applies proven academic research to help firms find new value and growth in both digital and traditional industries.

Morning 08:30 – 12:30



What makes platforms special and powerful? How are platforms fundamentally different than product firms? Why do platform businesses often generate winner-take-all outcomes?

How can traditional products or services be transformed into platforms? When does it make sense to undertake this transformation? What are the main pitfalls?

Why is platform design different than product design? How to map the ecosystem and motivate users? How does a platform’s architecture choices resolve conflicting interests of its multiple constituents? What should platforms own and what should they not?

How many sides should a platform have? Which side should you start growing first and how? How to solve the chicken-or-egg problem, gain critical mass and ignite network effect?

In this interactive hands-on session you will produce a sketch of a platform business model for your own business. We will utilize a proven Fourkind Platform Canvas tool to facilitate the work.


Afternoon 13:30 – 17:00

Working in pairs, participants review each other’s canvas design exercise and prototype a final Minimum Viable Platform.

How to choose a successful pricing model for platforms? Under what conditions should a platform subsidize the participation of one or multiple sides? How should the pricing structure change over the platform’s lifecycle? When should your platform use escrows or when should it use alternative payment systems?

What tools can ease access to your platform, facilitate transactions and provide further support to your users? What tech and other integrations should be embedded into the platform, e.g. insurance, accounting, referrals and reputation systems? How to optimise the matching between supply and demand? How to improve how your value proposition is communicated to your users?

How do platform governance rules help reduce market failures? How much control should a platform take over the interactions it enables? What curation mechanisms will increase traction and ignite network effect on your platform? How to build a community and grow both supply and demand simultaneously? How to avoid legal risks and users bypassing your platform?

What data strategy and metrics can be implemented to measure successful transactions? How do these metrics differ from those implemented by linear business models? How metrics should evolve in the growing phase of a platform?

The Masterclass closes with a review of core learnings and handing out a platform toolbox and success checklist.

Evening 17:00 – 20:00

Participants can request short and individualised coaching sessions (15 min each) with the trainers after the Masterclass. No extra fee.

How Masterclass works?

For whom: Leaders in both traditional and new businesses: CxOs, directors, head of -roles and business/development manager type of roles.

Preparation: Bring forward an existing platform, idea of a platform or market opportunity that you want to develop or optimise during the Masterclass.

Content: 20% briefing, 50% exercise, 30% reflection.

Maximum group size: 30 persons. We encourage both individuals and teams to attend.

Language: English and Finnish.