Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Facebook get much of their value through the use of Multisided Platforms (MSPs).
MIT Sloan define a multisided platform as “technologies, products or services that create value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two or more customer or participant groups.” For example:
- Apple connects app developers with iPhone users who have a need for the functionality that the app provides.
- LinkedIn connects professionals, recruiters, and advertisers.
- Microsoft uses Windows to connect users, third party app developers, and third party hardware manufacturers
- Amazon and Alibaba connect sellers of products with a vast set of users that want to buy products.
- AirBnB connects building owners with people needing to rent space.
- Uber and Lyft connect drivers and passengers.
- American Express, Visa, Paypal, and Square connect merchants to consumers.
MSPs are a very valuable and viable business model that creates value by reducing search or transaction costs for all participants.
Is your business leaving money on the table by not leveraging an MSP approach? Or, worse yet, are you leaving your business vulnerable to competition who have determined a unique MSP offering that threatens your existence?
What can you do to leverage the MSP strategy and how can you implement it in your business?
The most important activity for any leader is to cast a vision for their organization! This vivid picture of what the future will look like when the organization has achieved its ultimate purpose must be so compelling that your staff will bet their careers on your organization and your customers will be inspired to do business with you.
The effectiveness of your vision statement can make or break your organization. It can be the biggest factor driving differentiation for your organization in the marketplace or it can reduce you to just another commodity, slugging it out in the trenches for the lowest priced sale.
A few weeks ago I introduced a tool called the Business Compass. This tool provides the means of visually communicating your organization’s vision, mission, values, brand promise, leadership behaviors and strategic and operational priorities. I have previously blogged about vision, mission, values and strategic and operational priorities but what about Brand Promise?
Brand Promise is simply what the company promises to the people who interact with it. Companies that are able to follow through on their brand promise, create real brand value with their customers. This brand value can be measured in a number of different ways (see the Forbes article “Worlds Most Valuable Brands – Behind the Numbers” for one example) but essentially it comes down to how well known and respected the organization is and how much revenue this notoriety brings in. Forbes also rates the Valuable Brands with Apple, Microsoft and Coca-Cola right at the top of the list for last year.
The important thing to remember is that a brand isn’t what you say it is unless your corporate actions, services and products align with the brand promise. The litmus test for this is to ask your customers. They are the ultimate judge for a brand. Ask your customers what your organization means to them and you will get a excellent picture of what your brand is outside the walls of your organization.
I have had quite a few people ask me what iPad apps I use for business and personal purposes. I am always trying out apps that are useful and boost my productivity. The following are currently my favorite iPad apps.
- Microsoft OneNote 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download] – this is perhaps the best and most powerful productivity app that I use. OneNote started off as a PC based program that Microsoft sold that allowed the user to take notes and organize them in any way they desired. This includes graphics, pictures, sound bytes, emails, webpages, screen captures, etc.) The goal of OneNote is to replace your handwritten notebooks. It was turned into an app a number of years ago and I have the app installed on my iPad and my iPhone. The data is synched through the cloud so each device is always up to date. I have not used a paper based notebook since I installed the OneNote program on my laptop back in about 2005. OneNote allows you to take and file all your notes electronically so you can search on keywords and find all the notes you ever took on that subject. Comparing paper based notebooks to OneNote is like comparing a rubber raft to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier! Watch for a future post on how I organize my OneNote.