Competition with the Platform Owner: A Quantitative-Empirical Study of Mobile-App-Platforms (2021 – 2024)
One of the primary consequences of the digitalization is that competition increasingly takes place on digital platforms. In particular, we observe that one firm is providing a digital infrastructure and allows other firms to participate in the value-creation by independently developing complementary services and products. An example is the iPhone platform: Apple allows other firms to offer apps and transact with iPhone users.
Platforms like the iPhone have become an important part of the digital economy, yet they require basic research into the decisions that firms face in this new environment. A crucial issue for the thousands of firms that develop complements for a platform is that they face the risk of competing with the platform owner. For example, Apple has frequently released apps that directly compete with the products of app developers. Such competition is an existential threat for many companies that build their business on platforms.
In this research project, we conduct basic, quantitative, and data-driven research into the market and product conditions that increase complementors’ risk of facing competition with the platform owner.
Industry / Politics
I have been involved in several research projects with partners in industry and politics. In these projects, my team and I contribute by (1) providing expertise, especially from the business and economics perspective, (2) by designing or advising large-scale data collections for scientific validity (e.g., survey, A/B tests, field experiments, interviews) or developing measures, and (3) conducting or advising the statistical data analysis.
European Public Sphere. Towards Digital Sovereignty for Europe (2019 – 2020)
The project investigated the pillars of Europe’s technological sovereignty and formulated an action plan to create a European digital ecosystem that implements European values, including transparency, openness, and privacy protection. The resulting proposal recommends the setup of a cooparative public-private alliance that develops alternative technologies with a focus on open, diverse, and participatory digital platforms. The project was led by acatech and included experts from TUM, Telefonica, and Hubert Burda Media.
Digital Maturity: A Comparative Assessment Across Industries and Countries (2017 – 2019)
The project sought to investigate the status quo of the digital maturity (Digitale Reife) of medium-sized and large firms in Germany and to compare it to the United States. The project was conducted together with the Boston Consulting Group and relied on their so-called Digital Acceleration Index.
Further, the project investigated the characteristics of digital performers (i.e., particularly mature firms) to provide action items for less mature firms.
- The results are published in this study
(Software) Business Model Design and Innovation (2015 – 2017)
This research project had the goal to measure the adoption of product and software development methods at SAP. This included, for example, to measure the degree of adoption of agile development methods, design thinking, and lean development concepts. As part of the project, we developed the so-called Inno-Metrics scale, which is a simple one-page questionnaire that helps assessing the adoption of agile, design thinking, and lean development methods by software developers. In addition, we surveyed more than 5000 software developers at SAP in multiple waves. The results were presented in several company-internal conferences and meetings.
This project was part of a larger collaboration between the University of Mannheim and SAP that empirically investigated challenges and opportunities for product-oriented software development.