Author(s): Soon Goo Ahn
Digital Platform has taken the central stage in platform entrepreneurship. While much has been discussed on the formal definition and pricing mechanism of platform, researchers call for more studies that address mechanisms for platform growth and evolution. In particular, how the platform can increase its scope (boundary) has been under-explored. Attending to this quest, this research explores the evolution history of one platform – Kakao Talk in South Korea. Kakao Talk began as a simple messenger, and over the 10 years of period, the messenger has incorporated more than 20 categorically distinct features as complementary services, and become a major technology platform in South Korea. On this extreme sample, analysis is conducted with the grounded theory buildings with particular emphasis on scope increase. The grounded model explains that 1) cognitive interpretations of platform boundaries fundamentally allow or limit experimentations for scope increase and that 2) design practices become an effective mean to create complementarities between the focal service and other explored features.