Digital innovation in platform-based ecosystems

An evolutionary framework

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Creating a digital platform to leverage the potential of an ecosystem is recognized as an effective strategy to optimize innovation efforts in the digital era. In this paper, we analyze how platform-based ecosystems can ensure the commercialization of a constant flow of digital innovations. Our contribution focuses the role of platform-owners and the way they orchestrate the coupling process between two subsystems of the ecosystem: the innovation factory (IF) and the business development (BizDev). We apply a life-cycle perspective, analyzing how the relationships between platform design, value creation and knowledge are dynamically aligned. Existing accounts of ecosystem dynamics are quite scarce in the academic literature and they do not systematically acknowledge these two subsystems. By considering the two parts of ecosystems, we contribute to a better understanding of platform-based ecosystem evolution’s process. Three case studies illustrate platform-owners’ choices regarding the management of the coupling process.