Elena Stavrova

Dinka Zlateva

Lubomira Pinelova


The growth of digital platforms generates strong network effects and dynamics of all winners, which disrupts systemic growth and further stimulates competition between them. Despite the positive effects, under certain conditions, these same functions make the currently operating platforms vulnerable to competitive strategic moves through platforms where participants can add value for themselves and at the same time avoid pre-investment in value added generation.

 In this analysis, we use an interpretive synthesis of different theoretical concepts of platform business to theorize these strategies as a new category and their distinctive features. Overall, the study demonstrates the potential for unconventional and opportunistic strategies to compete on platforms that extend beyond more traditional ones, such as network quality, diversity and size.

Keywords: platform economy; business models; digital ecosystem

JEL Codes: M20, M21, M29


Adner, R. (2006). Match Your Innovation Strategy to Your Innovation Ecosystem. Harvard Business Review April: 98-107

Bakos, Y. (1998). The emerging role of electronic marketplaces on the internet. Communications of the ACM, 41, 35–42

Baldwin, C.Y. & Woodard, C.J.  (2008). The Architecture of Platforms: A Unified View (SSRN Scholarly Paper No. ID 1265155)

CB Insights (2017). The Complete List of Unicorn Companies. https://www.cbinsights.com/researchunicorn-companies. Accessed 05.02.2017.

Choudary, S. P. (2015). Platform scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment. (First edition). S.L.: Platform Thinking Labs Pte. Ltd.

Choudhury, V., Hartzel, K. S., & Konsynski, B. R. (1998). Uses and consequences of electronic markets: An empirical investigation in the aircraft parts industry. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 22, 471–503

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches

Evans, P. C. & Gawer, A. (2016). The Rise of the Platform Enterprise: A Global Survey

Gawer, A. (2014). Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework. Research Policy, 43, 1239–1249

Gawer, A. & Cusumano, M. A. (2002). Platform Leadership: How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco Drive Industry Innovation. Harvard Business School Press: Boston (Japanese Translation by Kobayashi, T. and Others. 2005. Platform Leadership: Innovation wo Michibiku Atarashii Keiei Senryaku. Yuhikaku Publishing: Tokyo)

Gawer, A. & Cusumano, M.A. (2008). How companies become platform leaders. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev., 49 (2008), 28-35

Ghazawneh, А. & Henfridsson, O.  (2013). Balancing platform control and external contribution in third-party development: the boundary resources model Inf. Syst. J., 23 (2013), 173-192, 10.1111/j.1365-2575.2012.00406.x

Hagiu, А. (2014). Strategic decisions for multisided platforms. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev., 55 (2014), 71-80

Hagiu, A. & Wright, J.  (2015). Multi-sided platforms. Int. J. Ind. Organ., 43 (2015), 162-174, 10.1016/j.ijindorg.2015.03.003

Hagiuр, А. (2014). Strategic decisions for multisided platforms. MIT Sloan Manag. Rev., 55 (2014), 71-80

http://www.thecge.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/PDF-WEB-Platform-Survey_01_12.pdf. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2020.101988.

Iansiti, M. & Levien, R. (2004). The Keystone Advantage: What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability. Harvard Business School Press: Boston

West, J.  (2003). How open is open enough?: melding proprietary and open source platform strategies.  Res. Pol. Open Source Software Dev., 32, 1259-1285, 10.1016/S0048-7333(03)00052-0

Jacobides, M.G., Cennamo, C. & Gawer, A. (2018). Towards a theory of ecosystems. Strat. Manag. J., 39, 2255-2276, 10.1002/smj.2904

Boudreau, K. K. (2010). Open platform strategies and innovation: granting access vs. Devolving control.  Manag. Sci., 56, 1849-1872, 10.1287/mnsc.1100.1215

Kenney, M. & Zysman, J. (2016). The Rise of the Platform Economy. Issues in Science and Technology, 32, 61–69

Kimmo Karhu & Paavo Ritala, (2020). Slicing the cake without baking it: Opportunistic platform entry strategies in digital markets, Long Range Planning, 101988, ISSN 0024-6301

Thomas, L.D.W.,   Autio, E. & Gann, D.M. (2014). Architectural leverage: putting platforms in context. Acad. Manag. Perspect., 28, 198-219, 10.5465/amp.2011.0105

McIntyre, D.P. & Srinivasan, A. (2016). Networks, Platforms, and Strategies: Emergent Views and Next Steps. Strategic Management Journal

Parker, G.G., Van Alstyne, M. & Choudary, S.P. (2016). Platform revolution: How networked markets are transforming the economy - and how to make them work for you

Full text: PDF (English)

To cite this article: STAVROVA, E., D. ZLATEVA, L. PINELOVA. (2021). Platform economy as an inevitable development of digital business. Entrepreneurship, 9 (1), 87-95 DOI: 10.37708/ep.swu.v9i1.8