Customers were joining the Zoom conference for our advisory call. As I got to know new ecosystem participants, one of the potential consultants enquired, “how can my customers build their platforms?”
I welcomed the question, which addressed my opening statement to them.
“Many people mistake a platform with a piece of technology, such as a mobile app or a website, but a platform is more than just software. It is a comprehensive business model that generates value by connecting consumers and producers.”
A successful platform business must attract participants, make it easy for people to connect, and foster member exchange and co-creation. We believe four strategic challenges should be addressed for a platform business to prosper.
Determine the consumer and producer sides of your platform.
Resolve the chicken or egg conundrum: how to get volume from multiple sides?
Create your business model – who pays, who does not, and where are the profits.
Create and enforce ecosystem rules. Who should have the authority to do what?
How to make possible a successful B2B Platform business?
We think the Exponential Organization (ExO) framework helps to answer the question. A Massive Transformative Purpose that pulls a community, fosters connections and gives the members something to rally around is necessary for a successful B2B platform business. Additionally, the right combination of internal and external ExO attributes is needed. Our professional experience has shown us that a platform may be enabled by integrating the blueprints for Community-Engagement-Experimentation and Algorithms-Interfaces-Experimentation.
When someone suggested making Miami a tech hub on Twitter in December 2020, Mayor Suarez replied, “How can I help?” It sparked a rush of movement.
A “how can I help?” mindset and culture are essential to understanding your community’s needs and engaging the members to generate experiments and eventually scale. Starting small and moving fast using your community for insights, ideation, and product adoption truly help to test and pivot your own platform business and help to match the pivot of your customers.
Early in the formation of the Openexo and yWhales communities, moderators played a crucial role in seeding discussions and responding to customer posts. Later both communities started to focus on content to drive traffic to their community, pulling and pushing the flow of visitors from outside sources. Ultimately, activation or engagement is about getting that buy-in from new users and encouraging regular activity in the community.
Engagement is essential for getting as many people through the activation funnel as possible and developing a solid community of loyal, engaged super-users and ambassadors. Without these individuals, the community would not have as much content for people at the top of the activation funnel to enjoy!
I remember the first time I visited the Airbnb website in 2014; I was captivated by its simplicity and clarity. Their messages and call to action connected with my needs and got my attention.
In a B2B platform business, the Interfaces refer to how the community will interact with your company. Therefore, before designing your interface, you need to identify the sources of abundance you are accessing, think about how to humanize the user experience, create standardized processes, and apply algorithms to automate processes. Finally, you need to test the interfaces with your community members and update those interfaces regularly based on the results of your experiments.
Additionally, the interfaces should offer unique digital experiences. For example, gamification tools like user ranks, badges, reputation indicators, and likes are excellent ways to engage customers and drive them along the sales funnel.
To conclude, we want to reveal some practical recommendations we learned from the mistakes we made when creating B2B communities, mistakes you should not make.
Start small and move fast instead of making a “big bang” launch.
Don’t concentrate only on technology.
Expecting your community to entirely replace your marketing or customer service is unrealistic.
Avoid leaving your community to “self-regulate.”
Avoid misinterpreting the true motivations of your community members.
ExO attributes are essential only if connected to your business model; developing your business model is the key. Platform businesses have the potential to tip your market due to economies of scale, but they can also result in significant financial loss.
We value your feedback because we enjoy learning new things.
Tokens are allowing innovators to capture economic value in open ecosystems. Therefore, Web 3 is creating the incentive structures required to solve the world’s biggest problems.
A few weeks ago, a colleague reached out to one of my networks to share her Analysis of How Blockchain Technology Could Facilitate Citizen Disruption of Innovation. I took the opportunity to chat with her about how to leverage distributed innovation.
More recently, after listening to “5 Mental Models for Web 3.0 ” I had an Aha moment. My daughter who loves writing told me that she learned that “if you want something to exist, write it down.” I decided to write my insights about distributed innovation.
Everyone is sharing more knowledge at faster speeds and has more broadband at a lower cost. “The world is getting faster, and the power you have to change the world is getting greater.” 
Our lives are changing and will change even more: not in twenty or thirty years but now. Our future is arriving faster because technology continues advancing at an exponential pace. Due to abundance, not only nations or corporations, have access to plenty of talent, capital, data, and communication. As a result, we are increasing our capabilities while collaborating with people and machines.
The Internet is evolving into a third phase, the Web 3. During the coming years, even successful digital companies and platforms created as part of the sharing economy will be disrupted by the new decentralized peer2peer based business models.
To understand why digital companies will undergo disruption it is important to know that during Web 1, we made information available everywhere and instantaneous; personal and content websites and user consuming information disrupted news media, and music, among other industries. In Web 2, we enabled creators and individuals to participate and share their creations and content via podcasting, blogging, social networking, and social media on mobile-first platforms.
Now, in Web 3, developers are creating a digital property, decentralized finance, and unique non-fungible digital assets. As a result, we are disintermediating industries, protecting our data, and evolving networks and platforms into economies where all participants receive part of the value they contribute to creating.
Digital trust is enabling abundance and bringing back scarcity to the digital world. More precisely, Bitcoin is the first scarce digital object the world has ever seen. Furthermore, NFTs and blockchain technology managed to bring scarcity to the digital world by giving value to the original file rather than by trying to prevent (and prohibit) copying that file .
Web 3.0 is the Internet of value already disrupting the banking industry, the internet of energy, and the logistics internet altogether. The conjunction of technologies such as blockchain, AI (Artificial Intelligence), sensors/IoT, and 3D printing, combined with other economic and cultural phenomena such as the sharing economy and crowdfunding mechanisms are driving our new world.
We are at a turning point in how we harness technology and innovation.
A new phase of innovation is upon us. It is much faster than the rapid adoption of smartphones and social networks during Web 2. Nowadays, most of the population has access to information, distributed gig-workers, and experiences via their smartphones.
Web 3 projects use staff on demand, community, and a crowd-based mechanism to fund and support their ideas via crypto tokens. These tokens have been used as means of exchange, store of value, access to services, and more recently they have been used to govern projects, incentivize behaviors, and recognize community members. Furthermore, the NFTs (not-fungible-tokens) now represent digital collectibles in art, music, and games. For example, participants of the Axie game perform tasks that add value to their ecosystem, and they are rewarded with a digital asset in the form of NFTs that can be sold and converted into an income stream. Tokens are allowing innovators to capture economic value in open ecosystems.
Therefore, Web 3 is creating the incentive structures required to solve the world’s biggest problems. The access to technology and resources not previously available is unlocking intelligent and innovative people worldwide to solve their biggest problems, moreover, these people have dealt with the problems they are trying to fix for years and are therefore more motivated than companies or governments who have pledged to fix them. Additionally, very soon we will have trillions of machines and individuals connected to the Internet that will, in many cases, communicate and transact among them without human interaction.
Together with Fluid Chains, we have been launching high-impact businesses with exponential scaling on top of the distributed innovation trend during the past five years. We have embraced the open-source movement and we have enabled cities and communities to co-create token economies. In addition, we have built distributed ledger platforms for the creator’s economy, launched decentralized services, and built Proof of Concepts within fintech, energy, logistics, health, and other industries.
We know that successful blockchain or distributed ledger projects are Exponential Organizations by design and require a distributed innovation approach. They harness Community, Algorithms, and Engagement attributes to connect with abundance, and scale through Interfaces, Experiments, Autonomy, and Social ExO  attributes.
In the new world of Web 3.0, no one can afford to be self-sufficient. We need to bring together more and better resources than those we can have inside our organizations. We should attract the best people to collaborate on our projects. Thus, to attract elite members to participate and create value, it is essential to offer them a fair share of the value created.
To succeed in an era where networks are becoming economies, and where it is challenging to negotiate based on differing objectives, risk appetite, and power, we need to be open and learn new models and approaches.
We need to be agile, learn fast and fail fast; we need to organize work effectively in communities and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO) through Massive Transformative purposes (MTP).
We need to leverage a culture of autonomy driven by a growth mindset and a clear purpose. It is essential to embrace social tools and decentralized governance as vehicles for asynchronous collaboration, and decision-making among diverse groups of individuals working online with no centralized leadership.
Web 1 websites started as news boards, catalogs, and directories; then became portals, mail services, and e-commerce. Today they are social networks, Software as a Services (SaaS), and sharing economies platforms. Web 3 digital tokens are the new website in our wallets’ addresses the new access credentials, moving forward, we will see more and more use cases we are not imaging today.
How can you help your business tap into this unprecedented access to innovation and harness it for benefit?
Based on my experience, I recommend educational and experiential learning. The leadership and the functional teams need to gain a new mindset, leadership skills, and capabilities. I strongly suggest participating in one of the thousands of Web 3 projects solving specific problems related to your industry or your personal passions. You can start by joining their communities and experimenting to learn with everyone else.
Another good idea is to bring experts to help you and your team identify transformational initiatives that enhance your organization’s current business model. They can also help to identify distributed innovative projects that could potentially disrupt your business and your industry.
You should be open to partnering with incubators and accelerators and even investing in Web 3 projects that have already found market-fit for a problem/solution aligned with your organization’s purpose.
We are writing down our future, be the first to write it. Those who arrive first will be rewarded, the laggards will fall behind. This thought was brought by teaching my grandfather passed to me many years ago “el que pega primero, pega dos veces.“
Are you planning to leverage distributed innovation in your business today? How will you do it? I’d love to continue the conversation.
 Article Published at RollingStone.com
 Bankless Podcast with Chris Dixon
 Peter Diamandis, best-selling author, public speaker, and philanthropist
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is a reality; many industries feel the effects of technological and generation disruption. Airbnb is a prime example of a company that has effectively leveraged the Internet to grow from small businesses to disrupt the hotel industry. Today, founded in 2008, Airbnb is more significant than the world’s top five hotel brands put together.
Successful companies wanting to lead or at least stay ahead of their industry disruption embrace the rapid progression of technological advancements to explore with new approaches what it is holding for their industry. They must be ready to learn from inexpensive failures. They will need to learn how to connect and scale the abundance of opportunities in terms of, for example, talent, data, or capital.
We see fully tech-enabled experiences in traditional fragmented industries such as property management, health & wellness, and conference planning. Technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining the operational complexities of managing hundreds of properties, patients, or events/trade shows and disintermediating these industries by replacing middlemen with little value.
We believe for an existing business, the path is in transforming, not just innovating their industry. Successful CEOs will need to change their core business and build new edge business units simultaneously. This transformation is not a simple task, but it is possible. Moreover, it is the best way to combat the immune system of organizations. Amazon/AWS and Apple/iPhone are great examples of how large companies create new successful business units on the EDGE to drive top-line growth while adjusting their core business and culture to respond more rapidly to changes in the external world.
Exponential transformation is a detailed implementation handbook for becoming an Exponential Organization enabling organizations to speed up their transformation and overcome the obstacles to success. At Escalate Group, we have practical experience creating new exponential business units while transforming your traditional business.
It is possible to remove friction, pain, and cost from traditional fragmented industries, such as reimagining rental, healthcare, learning, or networking experiences and helping to improve the quality of service and increase the productivity of the participants in such fragmented industries.
Now more than ever, companies need fresh ideas, creativity, and critical thinking to overcome many of the situations that a world pandemic has pushed us against the wall. In many organizations, we encounter a significant amount of uncertainty when making decisions and face gaps in expertise within their workforce in certain areas that seem to be the right ones to explore for the business.
The power of collaborative work
We are aware there is an abundance of brilliant minds with the experience and talent that can collaborate temporarily as a pool of prequalified workers with availability to share their knowledge. To leverage these external workforces, we hired them for our customers on an as-needed basis to conduct innovation brainstorming sessions, to help companies evaluate and analyze ideas that have not been in-depth discussed.
With this concept in mind, we are addressing the power of Brainstorm Swarms. Brainstorm Swarms are online interactive sessions of two hours where a company team can pose questions on specific topics related to their industry. The inquiries are presented to a Global carefully vetted group of advisors and experts that will provide useful insights, contact, recommendations, and breakthrough solutions you can never imagine on your own.
The power of collaborative work and collective intelligence is a valuable resource to test ideas and explore opportunities from different angles provided by the experience of those who already went through that path.
How to engage in a Brainstorm Swarm
Before going into a Brainstorm Swarm session, we will assess our customers’ needs to gather a clear view of the strategic thinking that the company is willing to get insights and recommendations. Based on that, we will proceed to engage the best minds of advisors and experts who have the experience and knowledge of each field of action to align their inputs with our customers’ expectations.
The practice of Innovation Swarms has introduced companies to fresh thinking and disruptive innovation in a practical and customized way to tune up projects, concepts and recalibrate ideas from its conception to maturity.
If you are interested in knowing more about the revolutionary concept of Brainstorm Swarms, contact us to explore more and start the process of bringing on board brilliant ideas to re-imagine your organization.
With a shared goal, we can unlock more digital value for our customers. Escalate Group is committed to the Exponential Organization framework and proactively leverage the community and Crowd attribute for many functions traditionally handled inside the enterprises, including idea generation, funding, design, software development, distribution, marketing, and sales.
The Microsoft Partner Network is a hub of people, resources, and offerings that give Escalate Group everything we need to build and deliver successful solutions for our customers. We use the network to train our team, create innovative solutions, differentiate in the marketplace, and importantly connect with new customers. Together, we can accomplish more.
Partnering with Microsoft
“As a Microsoft partner, Escalate Group has instant access to exclusive resources, programs, tools, and connections. We are excited to be part of a community designed to foster business growth.” – Olga Calvache, Co-founder at Escalate Group. Our experience with the Microsoft community goes beyond the transaction. It is a community built around a common purpose that attracts and engaged passionate members. It is about peer2peer engagement in live and online training and events that nurture the community. The interactions around the partner center platform, the co-marketing and the co-selling programs with other partners automate the peer-to-peer engagement.
There must be a better way to organize ourselves. We’ve learned how to scale technology; now it’s time we determine how to scale organizations. Community and Crowd go beyond outsourcing. We believe that Community and Crowd is a fundamental attribute, you cannot be an Exponential Organization if you do not leverage this attribute as part of your organization.
“Today, if you are not disrupting yourself, someone else is. Your fate is to be either the disruptor or the disrupted. There is no middle ground.” – Salim Ismail, Founder OpenExO.
Through the long-term partnership with OpenExO and since the inception, Escalate Group has been using proven OpenExO transformation methodology and a global ecosystem of ExO certified coaches and emerging technologies specialists to enable the co-creation of meaningful business opportunities.
Escalate Group Services
Escalate Group Awake sessions and Workshops makes executives aware of the implications of accelerating technologies and new business models leading your industry to disruption and mark your path for transformation. The ExO Sprint is a tested and proven 10-week customer-focused process that allows any organization to address industry disruption and overcome internal resistance to change.
As an OpenExO Certified Partner, Escalate Group is on the cutting edge of innovation, bringing thought leadership and a proven transformation solution to our clients. Besides, we instantly scale our organization with 1000+ people in 100+ countries and 300+ certified coaches & trainers.
“With our guidance, customers in the healthcare, telecom and fintech sectors have been able to identify solutions based on accelerated technologies and to scale their organization to solve new challenges,” Olga Calvache, Managing Partner, Escalate Group.
To transform the world for a better future, OpenExo wants to become the world’s leading global ExO transformation ecosystem by building Exponential Organizations (ExOs).
Escalate Group unlocks digital value, helping organizations envision, accelerate and scale sustainable/impactful projects and solutions.