University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a high-growth canvas for platforms

Dam, Anouk ten (2019) Developing a high-growth canvas for platforms.

[img] PDF
Abstract:Multi-sided platform markets account for an important, large and fast-growing part of today's global economy. For matching and transaction platforms, growing fast to reach a critical mass is crucial for survival, as their value increases with the number of users. Nevertheless, achieving high growth has proved to be challenging: many platforms struggle and fail to rapidly grow their installed base. Although research on platform growth already exists, high growth is not addressed in those studies. A stream of literature in which high growth is actually studied, focuses on high-growth firms. However, those studies are focused on firms in general and thus not specifically on platform businesses. The lack of research on how platforms can achieve high growth provided a research opportunity. Based on an extensive literature review, several platform growth strategies and high-growth strategies were identified. By mapping those strategies on the business model canvas, a clear and structured theoretical framework was developed. Based on this theoretical framework, multiple case studies have been conducted to investigate how matching and transaction platforms can innovate their business model to achieve high growth. Seven business representatives representing high-growth platforms, less fast-growing platforms and external experts, have been interviewed to investigate which platform growth strategies and high-growth strategies can help platforms in achieving high growth. In this way, the literature on platform growth and high-growth firms could be integrated to arrive at a set of platform high-growth strategies. In turn, this allowed to update the theoretical framework by eliminating, adjusting, combining or adding platform high-growth strategies, thereby creating a high-growth canvas for platforms. This study revealed twenty-two strategies that are related to high-growth. Causality could be assumed for fifteen of those strategies, namely: building relationships; increasing brand awareness; HRM practices; automating business processes; possessing human capital; availability of financial capital; acquiring, analysing and using data; distinctive positioning; building trust; customer knowledge and customer loyalty; open to acquisitions; international orientation; ambition, drive and courage; availability of complements and platform envelopment. For the remaining seven strategies, it could not be concluded whether they contribute to achieving high growth, as causality could not be assumed. Besides, this research has revealed six strategies whose execution might partly explain the difference in growth between high-growth platforms and less fast-growing platforms. The high-growth canvas for platforms that is developed in this study provides platforms, regardless of the growth phase they are in, with valuable insights and a useful tool from which they can benefit in their journey towards achieving and sustaining high growth.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:
Export this item as:BibTeX
HTML Citation
Reference Manager


Repository Staff Only: item control page