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Your regular Newsletter on Platforms with updates from Boundaryless - Platform Design Toolkit

Dear Readers, 
here's your latest newsletter on Platforms – a curated list of links and news brought to you by the Boundaryless - Platform Design Toolkit Team.
All the team at Boundaryless wishes you a great start of 2021, a year that brings new promises and old concerns as the world tries to turn the page on the pandemic that left all of us stranded in search of new approaches, meaning and new visions for the future. 

In 2021, as we did for the last seven years, we hope to provide you with fresh ideas, perspectives, and tools to help you find your way into the future of organizing at scale.

Thanks for being part of our amazing community.
Normally, your email reader will cut this newsletter at a certain point:

An update on our learning programs: a new Design Sprint Date!
In December we've run the first iteration of a new training event: the Platform Design Sprint: it was a tremendous experience for around 30 participants scattered in a dozen team: we just added a new date in April! Check the links below or check the end of the email for further details.
For the next 15 days (until January 20th included) we're launching a FLASH DISCOUNT for those of you buying 2 Tickets for our upcoming training programs.

Reply to this email or reach out to to claim your code.
The Bootcamp: join our community of certified practitioners
The Sprint: bring your own project and learn in 2 days 
Did you check out our Best of Platforms 2020?

In case you missed it: this blog post provides a recap of the most important reads, videos and podcasts you may have missed in 2020 and a sneak peek on what was 2020 for Boundaryless. 

🏆 READ 2020's BEST OF 🏆
And now enjoy our ...

Our curated list of the best reads, videos, and podcasts to inform and transform your understanding 👇
🗞️ Reads
A year of e-commerce in review ↴
Monumental review of a (pandemic) year of e-commerce from Joe Kaziukėnas.  In a world of increasingly ubiquitous and multi-homed merchants, selling across different marketplaces, what counts is enabling through infrastructural investments.
The Unbundling of Linkedin 
Very nice take from Brianne Kimmel on the Unbundling of LinkedIn. It's clear how there exists a pressure to re-bundle personal brand with job opportunities, work portfolio, AND especially with workflow, in more specialized niches. Great stuff to ponder about.
A failed way to look at antitrust in a platforms' world 

Should be clear at this point that, as the economy and whole industries unbundle, re-bundling cannot be a case for antitrust anymore. If the friction to bundle for the consumer plummets, then brands should be entitled to create as many walled gardens, and bundles as they want.

Bezos himself on the HBR ↴
"When you pioneer, if you’re lucky, you get a two-year head start. Nobody gets a seven-year head start, and so that was unbelievable." A rather succinct note from Mr. Amazon: a school book example of incumbent disruption (and of platform thinking)
A reminder to overcome User-Centric Design ↴
In line with a rather consolidated position in the design community (we wrote about this several times, e.g. in: "Design for Interconnectedness"), Alexis Lloyd, (VP of Design at Medium) and further authors criticize User-centric design approaches highlighting 5 interesting design strategies the writers advise to adopt.
Wardley's Classics  ↴
It's always worth pointing out these two classics from Simon Wardley: his "Understanding Ecosystems" from 2014 anticipated the definition of the ecosystem as "a future sensing engine” that is very dear to our practice. "On Platforms and Ecosystems" (from 2015) makes a great companion to that read.
... see our videos and podcast suggestions below 

📁From The Archive

On every issue of the newsletter we remind you of two articles from our gigantic content base that you may have lost - or simply was released before you joined our community. Worth a read:
From November 2019 - Demistyfing Network Effects

This recap on network effects gives you ground about what a network effect is (and what isn't), the different network types, and some of the network characteristics that should influence how you approach building liquidity and solving the chicken-egg problem. We made a lot of progress since then but this is a good starter:
From November 2017 - Design For Ecosystems: Discovering Potential and Testing Assumptions

Check out this extension of the Toolkit aimed at helping adopters move from understanding the potential in the ecosystem—figuring out the overall platform vision—to executing interviews for Ecosystem Discovery (based on Customer Development), and running the first experiments to test the Minimum Viable Platform for validation 

Quick Note: we previously featured this in the archive but we figured out the link was wrong!
Wanna learn Platform Design? Grab your community discount.
🎙️  Podcasts & Videos
Did you catch up with the so far published Bounadryless Conversation Podcast Episodes?
Enabling an Ecosystem of Civil Servants in the Age of Platforms ↴
In this issue of our Podcast Apolitical CEO Robyn Scott talks about Apolitical’s work to unlock colossal public value by enabling peer-to-peer learning and other platform dynamics among civil servants around the world. A deep peek on why it's important to leverage on platform thinking when dealing with democracy (and governance) an what could be enabled for governments now and in the short-term future.

Check out this unmissable episode!
Stay tuned for the upcoming episodes with:
  • Mirakl CEO & Co-Founder Adrien Nussenbaum on connecting brands with markets 
  • Strategy legend Rita McGrath on the evolution between firms & marketplaces
  • En-visionaries of the future of work Laetitia Vitaud and Albert Canigueral 
  • Strategic thinking legend Simon Wardley
The Marketplace Conference 2020 Youtube Playlist ↴
Catch-up with The Marketplace Conference by binge-watching the playlist of the recently celebrated 2020 edition of the conference. Lots of interesting perspectives and a great overview of what's hot now in marketplaces & network effects.
Talking about internet communities: get in their Bios ↴
Two essential podcasts for anyone who is exploring the field of community products.
The Internet is changing its shape and Erik Torenberg is among the ones who really get it. In this episode, he speaks with internet community thinking expert Greg Isenberg and Social scientist & philosopher turned internet creator Justin Murphy.
In this other gem, he has a conversation with marketplace thinking legend James Currier on the Nfx podcast that reinforces some of the key insights.
Casey Winters on product, retention and marketplace growth ↴
Mike Williams (@Yoroomie) just released a Group Chat with Casey Winters: it's always a great opportunity to listen to such a great and practical thinker on topics such as product, retention and marketplace growth: don't miss it. And check out the whole group chat playlist here.
A Slice of insights ↴
How much can you learn from a marketplace vertical on pizza ordering? It turns out you can learn a lot: an amazing interview by Anthony Pompliano with Ilir Sela (CEO at Slice). A 10-year story in the making, an SME empowering platform strategy,
The Age of Design ↴
"We're in the midst of a sea change from consumption to creation" says Figma's CEO Dylan Field: a truly amazing and far-reaching conversation on Invest Like the Best Podcast with Patrick O'Shaughnessy.
A New Sensation ↴
Joost Minnaar has another great description of a pioneering organization: this time is from Russia. In his VkusVill: How A Russian Giant Disrupts The Retail Industry he shares recent Corporate Rebels discoveries and the resonance between VkusVill and two other great pioneers of entrepreneurial organizing.

Get your Certification! 👨🏿‍🎓

Become part of an exclusive network of experts and facilitators that master the real potential of Platform Design, beyond buzzwords: join our classic, and updated for the occasion, Platform Design Bootcamp and join the 100+ certified facilitators.
Grab the Early Bird or the 15% community discount on Regulars

Accelerate your project! 💻

Join  a cohort of learners (by doing) by bringing your project into an intense 2-day session to drive you from identifying and mapping your entities, to designing the two key engines of value creation in the platform (the transactions marketplace and the learning engine) that will compose the platform experiences you want to bring to the ecosystem.  If you don't have a project: we'll either help you join other participants and form a team or provide you with a pedagogic design context for you to maximize learning .
Grab the Early Bird or the 15% community discount on Regulars
All info on learning opportunities available here
Play with Platforms: Platform Design Toolkit
Enjoy Platform Design Toolkit 2.2, grown on several years of experience with startups, corporations, and institutions of all kinds. 
Highlights on this release:
  • an updated Transaction Board canvas, now more explicitly helping you to work on reducing transaction costs in interactions;
  • an updated User Guide (2.2);
  • the possibility to instantiate a virtual board for online collaboration, thanks to our partnership with Miro, a leading online collaboration software worldwide.
Download the Platform Design Toolkit Now!
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