Device Platforms & Business Models

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Course Description & Learning Objectives

New device categories, the end of Moore's Law, and 5G wireless technologies are creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for building industry-defining platforms and business models. But creating commercially successful device platforms and business models has always been an extremely challenging and risky proposition. Even successful participants have had difficulty understanding why they were successful and why that success did not translate across device categories. This course provides the conceptual foundation and critical thinking skills needed to enable students to identify the strategic insights that eluded Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Larry Page, Andy Rubin, Paul Otellini, and many other industry executives.

  • How are device platforms and business models structured? How and why have leading platforms evolved?

  • How do network effects, standards, and technology cycles influence adoption of device platforms?

  • How do device platforms and business models influence other participants such as developers, content and service providers, network operators, and technology suppliers?

  • How are device platforms and business models influenced by other participants?

  • What is the nature of competition and rivalry among device platforms as well as versus other participants?

  • How do market participants choose suitable partners and identify the most effective method of engaging these partners both from technical and business practice perspectives?

  • How do industry trends such as the end of Moore’s Law and the introduction of 5G wireless technologies impact device platforms and the strategies of key participants?

  • How do advancements in cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning reshape competitive strategy among device platforms?

Examples cover a variety of device platforms (PC, game console,  mobile device, wearable, Augmented/Virtual Reality, etc.) and companies (Intel, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Samsung, Huawei, Amazon, Facebook, Nintendo, Sony, Dolby, Qualcomm, Nokia, ARM, TSMC, nVidia, Garmin, and numerous startups).

Target Audience

  • Those who have or seek product management or similar operational roles and want to identify and articulate their objectives to others (especially upper management) effectively.

  • Anyone who would like to view industries and markets through the eyes of the general manager/CEO (whether at a start-up or an industry giant), not just aspiring CEOs but anyone in any function who wants to understand why and how strategic choices influence a variety of decisions.

  • Those pursing careers in services firms (management consulting, investment banking, investment management, private equity, venture capital, corporate & intellectual property law) who encounter clients from a variety of industries and markets and are required to identify and assess various strategic options quickly.

  • Those who are new to the Telecom/Media/Technology industry and seek a comprehensive overview.

  • Anyone who would like to apply a strategic filter when choosing employers by critiquing and handicapping their strategies.

  • Anyone who would like to demonstrate the skill MBA recruiters have the most difficult time finding: strategic thinking (full survey results).


Strategy in Practice is required.

Delivery Format

The primary delivery format is traditional classroom instruction.  Each class session is 5 to 7.5 hours depending on the dates scheduled.

Classes will not be recorded.  Students who miss a class session are welcome to attend a makeup session (if available) or the same session in a subsequent offering of the course.

Note the following recent research regarding passive vs. active note taking: To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand 


Class preparation is essential to get the most out of the course.  Most class sessions will include short tutorials or primers, whether related to technologies of interest, regulations, economic/financial terminology, or other concepts relevant to the discussion.  

Students are also expected to complete a group or individual project with guidance from the instructor to apply concepts and methodologies from the class to a specific context.

Registration & Fees

Learn more about upcoming courses and request to join a cohort.

CoursesReza Moazzami