Without a doubt, the rise of platforms is changing how entire industries do business—in terms of both technology and strategy. In publishing, where distributed content models are now the name of the game, companies are increasingly turning to big platforms like Facebook, Apple, and Google to expand their reach and better engage audiences.

But these complex ecosystems require major shifts in thinking, and for media and other organizations to build and use platform businesses effectively, they need to understand how they work. Our Book Picks this month offer valuable insights on the impact of today’s digital networks, real-world examples of companies that have developed successful platform strategies, and guidance on how to harness and monetize the emerging model.

With platforms transforming world marketplaces today, now’s the time to learn more about how they fit into your business. Check out the reads below to get started.

Book Picks: Making the Transition to Platforms

Platform Revolution cover

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the EconomyAnd How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Geoffrey G. Parker

Uber. Airbnb. Amazon. Apple. PayPal. All of these companies disrupted their markets when they launched. Today they are industry leaders. What’s the secret to their success? These cutting-edge businesses are built on platforms: two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business. Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, this practical guide explains the what, how, and why of this revolution, including ways to identify prime markets and monetize networks. As digital networks increase in ubiquity, businesses that do a better job of harnessing the power of the platform will win. Platform Revolution charts out the brilliant future of platforms and reveals how they will irrevocably alter the lives and careers of millions.

Digital Playbook cover

The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David L. Rogers

Every business begun before the Internet now faces the same challenge: how to transform to compete in a digital economy. Globally recognized digital expert David L. Rogers argues that digital transformation is not about updating your technology but about upgrading your strategic thinking. He reveals how to harness customer networks, platforms, big data, rapid experimentation, and disruptive business models―and how to integrate these into your existing business and organization. With practical frameworks and nine step-by-step planning tools this book pick distills the lessons of today’s greatest digital innovators and makes them usable for businesses at any stage.

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Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy, 1st Edition by Amrit Tiwana

This hands-on guide offers a complete roadmap for designing and orchestrating vibrant software platform ecosystems. Unlike software products that are managed, the evolution of ecosystems and their myriad participants must be orchestrated through a thoughtful alignment of architecture and governance. Whether you are an IT professional or a general manager, you will benefit from this book because platform strategy here lies at the intersection of software architecture and business strategy. It offers actionable tools to develop your own platform strategy, backed by original research, tangible metrics, rich data, and cases. You will learn how architectural choices create organically evolvable, vibrant ecosystems.

Platform Scale coverPlatform Scale: How an Emerging Business Model Helps Startups Build Large Empires with Minimum Investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary

Over the past decade, we’ve seen the emergence of a new form of scale. Today’s massively scaling startups, which rapidly grow to millions of users and billions in valuation, do not sell a product or service. Instead, they build a platform on which others can create and exchange value. However, most new platform ideas fail because the business design and growth strategies involved in building platforms are not well understood. The many manifestations of the platform business model―social media, the peer economy, cryptocurrencies, APIs and developer ecosystems, the Internet of Things, crowdsourcing models, and many others―are becoming increasingly relevant. Yet, most new platform ideas fail because the business design and growth strategies involved in building platforms are not well understood. Using six core concepts, Platform Scale lays out a structured approach to designing and growing a platform business model and addresses the key factors leading to the success and failure of these businesses.

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The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business by Phil Simon

Buoyed by the success of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, thousands of companies of all sizes are fundamentally rethinking how they do business. They are creating vibrant ecosystems and, in the process, reaping big rewards. In the tradition of The Long Tail, this book demonstrates how the world of business today is vastly different from that of even 10 years ago. Today, the most successful companies are operating under an entirely different business model―one predicated on collaboration, emerging technologies, externally driven innovation, different types of partnerships, and vibrant ecosystems. Rife with examples, The Age of the Platform is essential reading to understand business today―and where it is going.

If you’d like to share something you’ve read, drop us a note.  Also check out the Technology for Publishing blog, and keep up with the latest industry news coverage by signing up for our This Week in Publishing emails and monthly Publishing Innovations newsletter.

Posted by: Margot Knorr Mancini

A thought leader in the publishing industry, Margot Knorr Mancini has helped numerous publishers redefine their missions to become nimble content generators with the ability to repurpose content easily and efficiently. As Founder & CEO of Technology for Publishing, her analytical mind allows her to remain a step ahead of the industry, recognizing early trends and developing pivotal best practices.