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#99—Daniel Trabucchi: The Evolution of Platforms: Creating Value Beyond Digital Archetypes

#99—Daniel Trabucchi: The Evolution of Platforms: Creating Value Beyond Digital Archetypes

Daniel Trabucchi is the co-author, with Tommaso Buganza, of Platform Thinking: Read the past. Write the future.

He is Senior Assistant Professor at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano where he fosters research and teaches at the intersection between innovation management and leadership, with a strong focus on platform thinking and the human side of innovation.

He is the co-founder of Symplatform, the international symposium on digital platforms that aims to match managers and academics coming from various disciplines and he is the co-founder and scientific director of Platform Thinking HUB the observatory that aims to help established firms in finding innovation opportunities through platforms.

Finally, he co-hosts with Philip Meier “Talking About Platforms,” the podcast where the latest research on platforms is featured and spread. His work has been featured by outlets such as Journal of Product Innovation Management, Technovation, Technological Forecasting and Social Change and many others, but he aims to make scientific research as accessible as possible, so—in addition to the book—his platform knowledge can be found also on Coursera in four courses under the title of “platform thinking."

The idea of value creation has come a long way—where we used to think of providing value along a linear chain for stakeholders, platforms open up an incredible amount of possibilities in making customers and other stakeholders active participants—not only the end-receivers—of value creation.


"This is the power of platform thinking. You've got the brand. You've got the customers. You've got resources. If you find the right idle assets in your organization, you could actually use platforms as a new way to perceive a value creation."

-Daniel Trabucchi


In this episode, he shares:

  • The definition of a platform, and how it has changed over time—and how it expands past what we have all come to think of as the archetype of platforms, digital ones like Airbnb and Uber.

  • Four types of platforms, and how the core of each one, despite their distinct differences, is to create value between users.

  • How it’s not just the startups who can utilize platforms—established organizations have many assets to leverage in getting into the platform space

  • How platforms offer the opportunity for business leaders to reevaluate their business model with fresh eyes, challenging traditional labels and considering alternate perspectives


Episode Timeline:

00:00—Highlight from today's episode

1:08—Introducing Daniel + The topic of today’s episode

2:42—If you really know me, you know that...

3:51—What is your definition of strategy?

4:21—Let's start with the foundation—how do you define a platform?

8:07—Could you describe the four types of platforms?

13:12—What are some of the mindset changes that need to happen for people to see these different ways to use platforms in value creation?

19:04—What are the first steps to take in creating or plugging into a platform?

21:40—How can people follow you and connect with you to continue learning from you?


Additional Resources:



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The Outthinkers podcast is a growth strategy podcast hosted by Kaihan Krippendorff. Each week, Kaihan talks with forward-looking strategists and innovators that are challenging the status quo, leading the future of business, and shaping our world.