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Six Challenges in Platform Licensing and Open Innovation

Communications & Strategies, No. 74, p.17, 2nd quarter 2009

20 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2010 Last revised: 14 May 2014

Geoffrey Parker

Dartmouth College

Marshall W. Van Alstyne

Boston University – Questrom School of Business; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School

Date Written: June 1, 2009

Abstract

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.

Keywords: licensing, open source, free software, dual licensing, platform, intellectual property

JEL Classification: K11, L86, O31, O32, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Parker, Geoffrey and Van Alstyne, Marshall W., Six Challenges in Platform Licensing and Open Innovation (June 1, 2009). Communications & Strategies, No. 74, p.17, 2nd quarter 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1559013

Geoffrey Parker (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-9075 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://engineering.dartmouth.edu/people/faculty/geoffrey-parker

Marshall W. Van Alstyne

Boston University – Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-358-3571 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://questromapps.bu.edu/mgmt_new/Profiles/VanAlstyneMarshall.html

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School ( email )

Center for Digital Business
5 Cambridge Center - NE25, 7th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0768 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/marshall/www/home.html

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