The space and time of platform economy

Two types of markets

Who are the competitors of Enzo and Muhamad? Of course other pizzeria’s and maybe other restaurants, like McDonalds, Döner or Wok2Go. You may say all food places. However, Enzo and Muhamad are not competing with a Sushi bar in Tokyo which is a totally different market. That would be a long walk… They also don’t compete with the Van Gogh museum as that’s a completely other business. So the market is local and specialized.

How does this apply to platform economics? The most basic definition of a platform is a technology that allows other businesses to connect and build on top of it. The core of a platform is that it exists on the internet where space is unlimited and can be accessed everywhere anytime. Also, the time that users can spend is limitless.

Space

In Amsterdam you traditionally have a taxi station (Amsterdam Taxi Centrale). To be a customer you need the local number, you are greeted in the local language and pay the taxi driver in the local currency. Now to get a Taxi in Amsterdam with Uber, you just need to open the app and everything else is taken care of.

Time

After a hard day of work, Enzo closes his restaurant and goes to sleep. The restaurant has opening hours. Platforms are always available. 24/7. So not only the space is limitless, but time as well. Any time you want to search for something you just go to Google. However, this is not the interesting point on time in respect to platforms. It’s not just about when you access a platform, but how long you’ll spend on it.

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