HBS Digital Initiative builds community and expertise around digital transformation and tech at Harvard Business School and beyond. We manage this forum to gather and share perspectives from the HBS student community.
Firms today are establishing market leadership by mastering digital innovation. For example, the traditional "Mad Men" advertising agencies now have to be able to blend digital products and services with creative strategy. Amazon is as much a retailer and supply chain powerhouse as it is a digital innovator. Similarly, the Netflix business model is heavily reliant on continuously building and enhancing digital products and services to compete against incumbents in the entertainment industry. Ford is realizing that its future competitors are likely to be Facebook and Google and not BMW and Toyota. Meanwhile, Local Motors, an HBS-alum led startup, is using crowdsourcing, digital fabrication and 3D printing to disrupt the automotive industry.
Digital Innovation and Transformation is a Harvard Business School course designed to equip students to confidently help conceive, lead and execute digital innovation initiatives. To enrich the course experience, Professor Greenstein have elected to use this platform for assignments. The goal of using Open Knowledge is to stimulate deeper conversation, cross-pollination between ideas, and inclusion of the global "digital transformation" community.
We invite you to read more and dive in by adding your own thoughts through contributions and comments.
Digital technologies give rise to a variety of platforms. Think about how EBay matches suppliers and buyers, or iTunes makes apps available for iPhone users.
For this assignment, please identify companies/organizations that you think have an innovative platform. Focus on how it creates and captures value. Why are they innovative? Identify the core processes for the platform, and describe how those processes create value for participants, such as buyers or sellers. If this platform invites applications or advertising, explain what value goes to the applications or advertisers. Identify two or three interesting elements of the platform, such as its scale, prevalence of multi-homing, or pricing. Stress the strategy for value creation, but feel free to make observations about aspects of the platform’s value capture strategy. (To make it interesting, please stay away from platforms owned by the big five – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.)