Six Challenges in Platform Licensing and Open Innovation
Marshall W. Van Alstyne
Boston University - Department of Management Information Systems; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School
June 1, 2009
Communications & Strategies, No. 74, p.17, 2nd quarter 2009
This article describes six common challenges of design, incentives, and governance that arise in establishing platform businesses. It also proposes solutions. It considers, for example, how to open a platform to decentralized innovation yet still earn a return; how to incorporate best-of-breed innovations from different sources while avoiding problems of multi-party hold-up; and how to encourage sources of good ideas to contribute those ideas despite the risk of losing them to owners of indispensible complements. We express these issues and solutions as a reduced set of tradeoffs useful for managing information and technology property.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 20
Keywords: licensing, open source, free software, dual licensing, platform, intellectual property
JEL Classification: K11, L86, O31, O32, O33, O34
Date posted: February 27, 2010 ; Last revised: May 14, 2014
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