Given the importance of working with platforms and intermediaries to tech and game companies, managing the relationships with the platform becomes crucial to your success. A Harvard Business Review article earlier this year, “Mastering the Intermediaries” by Benjamin Edelman, lays out a strategic framework for optimizing these relationships.
Regardless of your business, if you are not a platform you probably rely on one or another type of intermediary for your success. Airlines and hotels are at the mercy of Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline and other platforms. Game companies rely on Facebook, Google and Apple for their access to customers. Small restaurants use Seamless or Foodler to reach hungry customers. Manufacturers must sell through Amazon to gain access to a large market. Moreover, almost every retailer looks to Google to refer customers.
These intermediaries provide valuable benefits (hence why everyone works with them) but they can also capture a disproportionate share of the value a company creates. These costs, also, do not dissipate through competition as most markets usually only have one or two significant platforms (mobile phones, anyone). Thus, companies feel they have no choice but to accept the fees and rules the platforms institute. Edelman’s article, however, shows strategies for recapturing some of the value companies are creating and protecting yourself from abuse by the platform. Continue reading “How to deal with Apple, Facebook, Google and other platforms”