Platform Strategies

Boston University

Boston University


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Who should attend

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.

About the course


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 Platform Strategies 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

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.


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?


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

The 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.


Andrei Hagiu

Andrei Hagiu is a Visiting Associate Professor of Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Strategic Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He was previously an Associate Professor in the Strategy unit at Harvard Business School. In 2012, Andrei took a leave of absence from Har...

Geoffrey Parker

Geoffrey Parker is a Professor of Engineering and a Director in the Master of Engineering Management Program at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering. He is also a Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow at MIT’s Initiative for the Digital Economy. He previously served as Director of the Tulane E...

Marshall Van Alstyne

Professor Van Alstyne is one of the leading experts in network business models. He conducts research on information economics, covering such topics as communications markets, the economics of networks, intellectual property, social effects of technology, and productivity effects of information. A...

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Platform Strategies at Boston University

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

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