The platform economy denotes a subset of economic activities enabled by platforms such as Amazon, Alibaba, and Uber. Due to their tremendous success, more and more offerings concentrate around platforms increasing platforms’ positional-power, hence leading towards a de-facto centralization of previously decentralized online markets. Furthermore, platform models work well for individual products and services or predefined combinations of these. However, they fall short in supporting complex products (personalized combinations of individual products and services), the combination of which is required to fulfill a particular consumer need, consequently increasing transaction costs for consumers looking for such products. To address these issues, we envision a “post-platform economy”—an economy facilitated by decentralized and self-organized online structures named Distributed Market Spaces. This work proposes a comprehensive model to serve as a guiding framework for the analysis, design, and implementation of Distributed Market Spaces. The proposed model leverages the St. Gallen Media Reference Model by adjusting existing and adding new entities and elements. The resulting multidimensional and multi-view model defines how a reference Distributed Market Space (a) works on the strategic and operational levels, (b) enables market exchange for complex products, and (c) how its instances might unfold during different life stages. In a case study, we demonstrated the application of our model and evaluated its suitability of meeting the primary objectives it was designed for.
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