Building Modern Monopolies, with Alex Moazed – [Invest Like the Best, EP.25]

My guest this week is Alex Moazed, the co-author of Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy, which explores the platform business model (Uber, Airbnb, Github).  Alex is also the founder and CEO of Applico, a company that he started in his dorm room that is since grown into a huge enterprise that helps startups and Fortune 500 innovate with platforms.  Alex and I talk about history and future of businesses and different types of business models.  There’s a lot in here for investors, entrepreneurs, and historians.  Please enjoy!

If you like the podcast or the book, here are a few extra articles that I’ve enjoyed by Alex:

What Is a Platform Business?

Why Walmart Spent $3.4B On Second Place

The Best Kind of Digital Transformation

 

Books Referenced

Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

The Systems Bible: The Beginner’s Guide to Systems Large and Small

The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Links Referenced

Failed Color App

Applico

Show Notes

2:39  – (first question) – Exploring the history of business models from linear to platform.

5:46 – A look at the share of overall business platform companies have taken over

7:06 – Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy

 

7:48 – The potential for platform businesses over the next 20 years

 

9:18 – Detailing the difference between a linear and a platform business

 

12:08 – Exploring transaction costs and core transactions across different business models

 

19:49 – Is the platform business model good for investors and VC’s since so many can get crushed when there’s a sole victor, or is it just for the founders and entrepreneurs.

 

24:35 – How the self-driving car is going to deliver more opportunity for consumer consumption

 

27:15 – Untapped supplies as the opportunity for new platforms and where we could see new openings

 

30:24 – How consolidated will things become across all platforms

 

33:16 – How do platform companies create a moat to keep others from replicating their business strategy

 

37:03 – Are there platform strategies that specifically don’t work

37:40 – Failed Color App

 

38:45 – Why complex systems typically don’t scale up and you should think small and easy to get started

38:47 – The Systems Bible: The Beginner’s Guide to Systems Large and Small

 

40:02 – How the origin of so many larger companies started out small and localized, and why it makes investors more comfortable

 

41:37 – How Alibaba had to tweak their business model to accommodate the Chinese market

 

44:07 – Why are the modern monopolies better for consumers

 

47:52 – Exploring platforms that are asset heavy

 

49:00 – What do you look for as a VC to determine

 

52:05 – Alex’s take on whether a platform based company like Uber should be more asset heavy

 

54:31 – Exploring some lesser known platform businesses that Alex finds interesting

 

56:18 – If there is a demand in the secondary markets for a product, why don’t the primary suppliers simply raise their prices

 

57:03 – What Alex’s portfolio of platform-based businesses would look like

 

58:48 – A couple of most influential books Alex has read

59:12 – The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

59:38 – Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future and other Peter Thiel books

 

59:53 – Looking at Applico, how it started and how it become so focused on the platform business model

 

1:03:56 – Most memorable day for Alex

 

1:05:13 – Kindest person to Alex in his life

 

1:06:10 – What platform opportunities could exist in the financial world

 

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on twitter at @patrick_oshag