The Platform Design Toolkit

Evolving Service Design & Business Modeling in the Age of Ecosystems

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What is a ‘platform’?

The word ‘platform’ is used to describe widely different things.

Platform Strategies can transform organizations and help create new business models: independent providers of custom solutions are often perceived to deliver more value, but are limited in their ability to scale.

Platformization provides an opportunity to create scalable collaboration agreements, powered by narratives, technologies, and shared languages.

What’s behind the success of platforms?

Platform strategies provide unique opportunities for growth.

  • Platform Strategies are contexts for Scalable Learning:  they independent providers, individuals and companies, hone their capabilities, and improve performances providing an answer to the pressure coming from complex digital disruption;
  • Platform Strategies provide channels for Scalable Transactions: with their ability to generate network effects, platforms give consumers the possibility to meet the perfect producer and vice-versa;

A platform is  a strategy to mobilize and help an ecosystem to produce shared value and express its potential.

The Platform Design Toolkit

Is the original design method, first released in 2013, to build multi-sided, transformative platform-strategies to empower ecosystems in creating shared value

The methodology to design strategies, products and organizations ‘as a platform’

  • an effective, clear and accessible set of visual tools for co-creation;
  • perfect for entrepreneurs, managers, designers, and founders;
  • a powerful way to reach a deep alignment within a team and beyond;
  • designed for the continuously evolving and interconnected world.

XXIst Century Business & Organizational Complexity made accessible to everyone

Platform Design Toolkit is based on the tradition of Service Design, Lean Startup and Strategic Thinking.

Was born to overcome the limitations in traditional, linear, business modeling approaches.

Helps teams craft ecosystem-based platform strategies that are highly scalable, and capable to transform the world.

By co-designing in teams you will:

  • envision and design how the system works, creating and exchanging value
    (e.g. a marketplace startup model, a large organization initiative);
  • prepare the validation by creating a prototype (Minimum Viable Platform) or assumption validation experiments.

It’s made of a unified market theory, a logical framework, a set of design canvases, and a facilitation guide so that anyone can use it.

Use our canvases in large wall prints and power teams to engage in design conversations and co-creation, reaching a shared vision.

What can you do with Platform Design Toolkit?

These are the key canvases that will help you model your whole platform

Map the Ecosystem

With the Ecosystem Canvas you will reflect on the ecosystem you’re looking to shape, and organise with your platform strategy.

Portray the Ecosystem’s Entities/Roles

With the Entity Portrait you will take a picture of the entities’ context: their potential, goals and the pressures they’re feeling.

Create the Transactions Engine

The Transactions Engine is one of the pillars of any platform strategy: identify the channels you need to create and the relationships you need to facilitate as a shaper. The Motivations Matrix and the Transactions Board will help you with this!

Create the Learning Engine

Design the Learning Engine: the Learning Engine canvas will help you envision how your platform strategy can help all the entities in the Ecosystem to become the best version of themselves, through continuous learning and improvement!

Consolidate and Design Platform

Use the Platform Experience Canvas to the design consistent, interactive experiences that you want to create for your entities, and how your strategy is going to be sustainable: what’s going to be your platform’s business model?

Setup your Validation Strategy
and MVP

Use the Minimum Viable Platform Canvas to identify the riskiest assumptions and prepare to execute an MVP that tests and validate them, before investing more time and energy in your strategy development.

Keep everything at a Glance with the Platform Design Canvas

Use the Platform Design Canvas as either a quick way to recap the ecosystem potential, and the platform strategy, or as a tool to explore quickly without diving into the full processes.

Discover our Exploration Tools

The Platform Design Toolkit 2.2 and its User Guide cover the whole Strategy Design part of the platform design process.

However, understanding and exploring a platformization opportunity – before actually diving into the design – is another essential step of the process.

The Platform Opportunity Exploration Guide, accompanied by three additional canvases can hugely help strategists in the Exploration Phase and it is an essential addendum of the Platform Design Toolkit.

The Platform Opportunity Exploration Guide helps you map how an ecosystem already interacts, what platform opportunities might exist and what value chain strategic gameplay makes sense to adopt to transform the value chain and gain the aggregator role.

It’s made of three more Canvases and a dedicated User Guide


Get all the canvases, the user guide and start experimenting

(other languages)

Platform Design Toolkit 2.2. + User Guide

User guide
8 Canvases

Open in Miro

Work Online
Miro is an online collaboration tool reshaping the future of teamwork. You can now open and work with your canvases in a template and start working with your team even remotely.

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The Platform Design Toolkit is Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License