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 how to win (and not lose) in digital strategy and transformation.

I am the founder of TechMoat Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that helps retailers, brands, and technology companies exploit digital change to grow faster, innovate better and build digital moats. Get in touch here.

My book series Moats and Marathons is one-of-a-kind framework for building and measuring competitive advantages in digital businesses.

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.


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