Matthias Walter is currently Head of Platform Innovation at FACTOR10, Europe’s leading corporate company builder. He’s the creator of the Platform Innovation Kit: a free toolkit to design and build platform and ecosystem-based business models. He was formerly Head of Blockchain Solutions Center at T-Systems. He started his career as a strategy consultant and moved on to become a Corporate Program Manager at AMD/GLOBALFOUNDRIES, where he led a global engineering team to develop a 28nm chip manufacturing process. His specialties are B2B and high-tech & data platforms. He is a father of 2 kids and loves basketball.
“The Platform Innovation Kit is the most advanced toolset to design and build platform or network based business models. It consists of 15 canvases, which helps users to design all specific elements of a new platform – e.g. network effects, ecosystem motivation, monetisation, services, etc. All canvases are supported by an interactive assistant – just download the Platform Innovation Kit app and scan the QR code on the canvases to start – the first interactive set of canvases worldwide.
It has been downloaded over 50k times in the last year and is used worldwide by corporates, startups and social institutions. Leading business schools incorporated it into their curriculum and is now becoming a standard for platform business model innovation.
I started designing the first canvases in 2015, as I realised that the existing business model canvases were not sufficient for network based business models. The Value Canvas, where you can design the ecosystem of your platform became very popular and so I decided to add further canvases. In 2018, we released version 3.0 incl. 15 canvases, different user-guides, and innovation plan, a self-assessment and the app.
We strongly believe in the power of co-creation as the future not only for businesses, but also to overcome the biggest challenges of our time. Platforms and ecosystems are organisational structures, where you harness the power of the team to achieve more (and by we, I mean the PIK team). We are now a network of ambassadors worldwide teaching and developing the Kit – incl. China, Russia, US, Brazil, Africa and Europe.
It’s an honour to help those many organisations worldwide with the PIK and to work together with these brilliant minds. I’m a serial entrepreneur and I created my first platform over 15 years ago. I am driven to create successful businesses. I became fascinated by the power of network effects and as a result – platforms. When I coached startups and corporates I realised that a structured framework was missing. Available tools like the Business Model Canvas or the Lean Canvas are helpful tools, but not sufficient if you want to get into the finer details. There was a gap between the academia and the real world of industry. That’s why I created the PIK.
There are two primary benefits: First, to stage a fight back. Mostly incumbent companies are facing disruption by mega platforms like Google, UBER & Co. These platforms place themselves between the end consumer and the traditional corporates and are fast becoming the orchestrator of the market. This leads to lower margins for traditional companies. A good example is the Marriot who recently announced that they will now launch their own platform for home-rental services.
Second, to secure future growth. The demand for convenience is rising. Consumers are reliant on single-service platforms, but in the future platforms will provide multiple services under one roof – becoming ecosystem platforms. An example here is the mobility ecosystem. Currently consumers are using several separate apps to manage their trip. From Airbnb to Facebook along with other platforms for flights, car rental, etc. Currently, major platforms like UBER or AirBnB are looking to not only cover single services, but to integrate multiple spaces and transform into a bigger ecosystem.
And here is where corporates can leverage their insights into value chains and existing partnerships to build a new ecosystem-platform. This will help to secure future growth and to own multiple spaces in the ecosystem – producers of goods/services and crucially, engaged as the orchestrator.
I’ve had two really proud moments since the kit was launched. The first was securing our first major client – PRISMA. Europes leading platform for gas capacity. We helped the team over a period of three years to reshape their business model, define a platform strategy, and to implement it.
The second milestone was last year with the release of Kit 3.0. We hit the 50k download milestone. The feedback we see is fantastic. Corporates, startups, social institutes, blockchain projects – all of them are using the PIK. This shows us that we are on the right track and gives us motivation to keep developing the PIK.
My favourite quote about the platform economy is, ‘Successful companies transform themselves from players in the market towards orchestrators of the market’, by Marshal Van Alstyme, Prof and Author of Platform Revolution book. This perfectly summarises for me the ambition to become a platform and also the change of your role and therewith the change in management thinking which is required.
I strongly believe in the power of co-creation. We can have a much greater impact when we work together – in business, but also in society. If corporates want counter attack disruption, they have to put their egos aside to create business ecosystems. I always tell them: If the cake is bigger, you’ll get a bigger slice. But to find a common purpose as an umbrella and then to work together is the challenge. The PIK is a perfect tool for that, but it requires a willingness to do it.
The same is true for the biggest challenges on earth like climate protection. Here we work together with the UN and the World Economic Forum to use concepts like platforms to foster collaboration between policy makers, entrepreneurs, and tech specialists, to create a better future”.