Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution

Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution

Unleash the Power of Platform Strategies

Platforms are the revolution. By operating as open ecosystems, companies like Facebook, Microsoft, American Express, and McCormick spices match suppliers of products, services, or content to consumers, and gain enormous value and market share. Now you can too. Attend BU’s 2-day, highly interactive Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution executive certificate program to walk step by step through adopting a platform strategy. Learn from renowned experts Marshall Van Alstyne, Geoffrey Parker, and Andrei Hagiu, whose insights on Platform Revolution and “Finding the Platform in Your Product” will help you:

  • Identify approaches to building multi-sided platforms and select the one that’s right for your firm
  • Analyze platform adoption at firms like Intuit QuickBooks and MakerBot
  • Figure out how to jump-start your platform and make vital decisions on openness, governance and pricing
  • Convert your businesses into platforms, and turbo-charge your competitive advantage and growth

Upcoming Program Dates

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Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution

May 1-2
Register by 4/9 for Early Bird Tuition: $1,900
Register between 4/10 and 4/24: $2,000
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Lead Your Organization’s Platform Strategy

Many of the world’s most valuable firms are multi-sided platforms. Amazon, Intuit, McCormick spices, even your local health club make much of their money not by what they sell but by facilitating the interactions or transactions of others. And here’s the key: most of them didn’t start out that way.

Now you can do the same. Decide how best to turn your product into a platform by learning face-to-face from the acknowledged visionaries in the field. Marshall Van Alstyne and Geoffrey Parker, co-authors of the best-selling Platform Revolution, together with Andrei Hagiu, co-author of “Finding the Platform in Your Product,” will prepare you to lead your organization’s platform strategy. They’ll help you drive your firm to the center of multi-party value creation – and anticipate the challenges and opportunities before they arise.

Who the Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution Program Is Designed For
This program is designed for leaders in traditional and emerging businesses, in platform organizations and in the traditional firms that must compete with them. It is a key stepping stone to convert a product or service into a platform business. From CEOs, CTOs and CMOs, to operations managers, technology officers and R&D leaders, anyone whose responsibilities require forward, innovative business thinking will benefit from this program. To foster teamwork and maximize the learning impact, we encourage both individuals and teams to attend.

Participants in our Executive Leadership courses come from the New England region as well as across the country and around the globe. It is a diverse group of individuals with strong backgrounds each of whom brings their career knowledge to share as they join with the rest of the class in in learning together in these dynamic and engaging courses.

Full-day sessions meet from 8:30-4:30, with some evening and out-of-class activities.

Welcome Reception

Join us the evening prior to the program for a cocktail reception and networking.

Day 1


What makes platforms special and powerful? How are platforms different from regular businesses? Why do platform businesses oftentimes generate winner-take-all outcomes?


How many sides should a multi-sided platform have? Which side should you start courting first? Do you go broad or narrow?


Under what conditions should a multi-sided platform subsidize the participation of one or multiple sides? How should the pricing structure change over the multi-sided platform’s lifecycle?


Why are platform design decisions more difficult than product design decisions? How does a platform’s design choices resolve conflicting interests of its multiple constituents? What should platforms own and what should they open?

Day 2


How do platform governance rules help reduce market failures? How much control should a platform take over the interactions it enables? When should you be a traditional intermediary rather than a platform?


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

New rules of strategy

How does platform strategy differ from product strategy? Where does Porter’s Five Forces framework still apply? Where does it fail?


Marshall Van Alstyne

Everett Lord Distinguished Scholar and professor of Information Economics at Questrom School of Business
Show Bio

Marshall is Everett Lord Distinguished Scholar and professor of Information Economics at Questrom School of Business. He is co-author of Platform Revolution (2016), a CEO Reads bestseller, and of the Harvard Business Review bestselling article on “Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy” (2016), now taught in business schools worldwide. In addition, he holds patents in information processing theory and in spam prevention mechanisms. His research has been honored with six best paper awards and National Science Foundation IOC, SGER, iCORPS, SBIR, and Career Awards and been featured in The Economist, Science, Nature, Wired, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and on NPR. He received his BA from Yale and his MS and PhD from MIT.


Geoffrey Parker

Professor, Dartmouth College
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Geoffrey is a professor at Dartmouth College where he also serves as Director of the Master of Engineering Management Program. In addition, he is a Research Fellow at MIT’s Initiative for the Digital Economy and frequent co-author with Marshall Van Alstyne. He has contributed to industrial organization economics as co-developer of the theory of “two-sided” markets. The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and numerous corporations have supported his research. Parker is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and industry events and advises senior leaders on their organization’s platform strategies. He received his BS from Princeton and his MS and PhD from MIT.


Andrei Hagiu

Associate Professor Information Systems at Questrom School of Business
Show Bio

Andrei is the author of “The Best Way for Netflix to Keep Growing” (2018) and “Finding the Platform in Your Product” (2017). Andrei is an Associate Professor of Information Systems at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Previously, he was an Associate Professor in the Strategy group at Harvard Business School and in the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management at MIT Sloan. He is a leading expert on platform businesses, having published over 20 articles on various aspects of platform strategy in economics, strategy and management journals. On the consulting side, Andrei works with both startups attempting to platform businesses (e.g. CoachUp, Drizly, LexInsight, TCGplayer) and large companies seeking to turn products into platforms (e.g. Equifax, Intuit). Andrei holds a PhD in economics from Princeton University and did his undergraduate studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in France. He is a citizen of Romania, France and the United States.

Program Dates and Cost

May 1-2


Early Bird Tuition: $1,900 (Registration Deadline: April 9,2019)
Regular Tuition: $2,000 (Registration Deadline: April 24, 2019)

Registration fee for the program includes tuition, course material, breakfast, and lunch. (Parking, hotel, and transportation are not included.)

Corporate discount pricing is available for groups of five or more participants from the same organization. For more information, email:

Boston: Where It Happens

photo-questrom-signThe program is held at Questrom’s Executive Leadership Center, in Boston—a world-class center for innovation and technology. At Questrom, you’ll learn from our dedicated, world-renowned faculty who are recognized for translating research into practice.

Boston is the world’s epicenter of education and a global capital of innovation and innovative thinking. Whatever your area of focus, Boston is fertile ground for growth because it’s the hub of nearly every key industry: technology, healthcare, finance and entrepreneurship, just to name a few. Plus, Boston is dense with corporations and successful business leaders you’ll want to learn from.

The Executive Leadership Center puts you at the center of it all. Questrom is located on the MBTA Green Line, minutes from Kenmore Square, Fenway Park and the neighborhoods of Back Bay and Beacon Hill. The city with all its arts, culture, food, entertainment and sports is at your fingertips. There are plenty of dining options ranging from Asian cuisine to classic American just steps from BU.

If you require hotel accommodations we highly recommend the nearby Residence Inn Fenway. Please call and book your room prior to 4/6/2018 to take advantage of a special room rate of $289 plus 14.45% room tax that is available for program participants.

Residence Inn Fenway
500 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone: 800-409-2427
Please reference Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution when booking.
Program Partners
The ELC partners with industry leaders to ensure that we fulfill our mission of bringing together business and academic best practices. This enables us to provide participants with immediately actionable tools and techniques to lead change for their organizations.
Competing in the Digital Age: Platform Revolution
with Early Bird Tuition
"Attending this course was the best investment I made last year into my professional development."
Tim Mauri
Director, WW Professional Education Technology & Innovation
Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices
Get a Complimentary Chapter of:
Platform Revolution
by Geoffrey Parker
Marshall W. Van Alstyne
Sangeet Paul Choudary

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