Seek Growth and evolve your Platform Strategy with the Platform Growth and Product Guide

After a fairly long research process that led us to run several webinars, write a ton and test things out with customers and adopters, we are finally able to release the first stable version of our Platform Growth and Product Guide a precious tool for product designers, product owners, VPs of growth and growth hackers.

Simone Cicero

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi

Luca Ruggeri

Andrea Valeri

June 27, 2022

Dear community,

After a fairly long research process that led us to run several webinars, write a ton and test things out with customers and adopters, we are finally able to release the first stable version of our Platform Growth and Product Guide.

This newly released Platform Growth and Product Guide:

  • covers both the strategic challenges in designing products that are capable of growing fast and acquiring defensibility, and also the tactical challenges entailed by launching and getting to liquidity in marketplaces, solving the chicken-egg problem
  • provides a set of tools for designers to understand and implement convincing growth flywheels and defensible network effects
  • is based on a 100+ page guide three canvases, two sets of cards and one cheatsheet
  • is based on almost two years of application of our framework with customers and partially taught to hundreds of certified professionals that attended our Platform Design Bootcamp in 2020 and 2021

If you want to connect to an upcoming private AMA session to discuss the Platform Growth and Product guide in details, ask questions on how to use it and get help please subscribe here!

Check out this Video Walkthrough of the new release:

Watch the video with highlights on youtube

A complete Framing of the Product/Growth questions, the hottest space in the Platform-Marketplace business

The Growth and Product Design challenges that are covered in the guide are a critical part of the oto-market stage. The work covered in the guide is logically framed as happening along with two major phases: pre-liquidity and post-liquidity.

As one will see in the document, reaching liquidity is the key challenge in early-stage platform development, and the challenges following the reach of liquidity relate more to keeping users engaged, avoiding churn, and investing strategically in engines of growth once the unit economics of the system are clear enough to ensure we’re not spending money on a platform that burns resources and can’t turn any profit.

The Guide will help designers to understand the three key elements that constitute the Value Proposition in a Platform Strategy, and understand how to ensure that a self-reinforcing process of value creation is in place as users get in and features are developed. It will help the entrepreneurs to decide where to start, how to approach pricing strategically, and then understand how to use resources both in the initial stages, but also in the longer term, building so-called growth models that connect investments with metrics through cohort analysis.


A guide that wants to support evolution

This operational guide to growth covers:

  • How to frame Growth strategically from the start by understanding flywheels and additional defensibility mechanisms (and design in a way to leverage them);
  • The key importance of Liquidity, how to approach the chicken and egg problem;
  • Why not all networks are equal through the identification of seven key properties and how such properties impact the network effect behavior
  • What growth tactics can be used to reach liquidity always in relationship with the network’s properties
  • The further key steps to reaching liquidity: constraining the strategy for the initial market, understanding what side to focus on at the start (supply or demand)
  • Building the Growth model and sustaining growth with Growth Loops, and finally …
  • how to measure improvements through a full-fledged framework to choose and manage the right metrics

The processes we present in this release of the guide are rigorous and tested — besides having used these techniques with several customers, we interviewed and involved in the research with people that have done real growth work, and we’ve been listening to tons of podcasts and read tons of blogs covering their experience.

Furthermore, this guide nicely fits with the rest of our toolset:

  • Our Platform Opportunity Exploration framework covers the exploration phase and the identification of the opportunity and features the Ecosystem Scan, The Wardley Map Canvas, the VRIO Canvas, the Patterns’ Library, and the Brief Consolidation canvas;
  • Our Platform Strategy Design framework that will help you design the details of the experience and features of the Ecosystem Map Canvas, the Motivations Matrix, the Transactions Board, the Learning Engine Canvas, the Platform Experience Canvas, the MVP Canvas, and the good old Platform Design Canvas.
  • A guide for the validation phase that is still in the works – at the moment the user should refer to our Design For Ecosystems: Discovering Potential and Testing Assumptions post that covers part of the process we use today to validate.

Learning to master the process

For those of you that are interested in learning with Boundaryless how to master platform thinking based on what is probably the most used, most accessible, and solid framework available so far worldwide:

  • attend our fall Platform Design Bootcamp: the next edition will likely span over a set of seven 4-hours online sessions (six on the frameworks and one on the design of workshops and interventions) and meet professionals worldwide…get a gist of the experience from this attendee review;

Download the Guide

Don’t forget to update your library now and:

  • Download the new Platform Growth and Product Guide directly from here


Meet us in July to ask questions and get answers

To help our adopters further we’re organizing a 1.5 hours interactive webinar session on July 27th at 12 PM UTC where you’ll be able to participate life and ask questions, clarifications, and share opinions on the newly released process and set of tools.

To receive an invitation and all the details to connect, please subscribe here or in the form below


Beware the copycats, choose the original, and become part of a global community of tens of thousands that have been using Platform Design Toolkit to shape their dreams, business ideas, community projects, and advanced policies for an interconnected world.

As all the other guides and canvases, this Guide is released under the Creative Commons Share-Alike Attribution 4.0 international license

Simone Cicero

Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi

Luca Ruggeri

Andrea Valeri

June 27, 2022

Join us on July the 27th for a Free Ask Me Anything session with Simone and Manfredi Sassoli de Bianchi, the main co-author of the Guide

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