Ant Group and the 3 Types of Network Effects (Tech Strategy – Podcast 86)


This podcast is about separating networks (an asset) from platforms (a business model) from network effects (a phenomenon). And the three standard types of network effects.

You can listen to this podcast here or at iTunesGoogle Podcasts and Himalaya.

I put networks into 3 types:

  • Physical Networks
  • Protocol Networks
  • People Networks

I put network effects into 3 types:

  • Direct (One-Sided) Network Effects
  • Indirect (Two-Sided) Network Effects
  • Standardization and Interoperability Network Effects

Questions for network effects:

  • Local vs. regional vs. international network effects?
  • Fast vs. slow network effects?
  • Degree vs. value of connections?
  • Minimum viable scale vs. asymptotic scale? What is congestion / saturation / degradation scale?
  • Linear vs. exponential growth at different scales?

Here is Ant Financial’s self-description from its IPO filing:


Related articles:

From the Concept Library, concepts for this article are:

  • 3 Networks vs. 5 Platforms vs. 3 Network Effects
  • Network Effects: Direct and Indirect
  • Network Effects: Standardization and Interoperability

From the Company Library, companies for this article are:

  • Ant Financial

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash


I write, speak and consult about digital strategy and transformation.

My book Moats and Marathons details how to measure competitive advantage in digital businesses.

I also host Tech Strategy, a podcast and subscription newsletter on the strategies of the best digital companies in the US, China and Asia.

With my subscription newsletter, you will:

Get a deeper understanding of the strategies and business models of the best digital companies.

Get specific frameworks for measuring competitive advantage in digital businesses and for traditional businesses doing digital transformation.

Get an edge in predicting what is going to happen next and who is going to win.

Note: This content (articles, podcasts, website info) is not investment advice. The information and opinions from me and any guests may be incorrect. The numbers and information may be wrong. The views expressed may no longer be relevant or accurate. Investing is risky. Do your own research.


Leave a Reply