Complementor embeddedness in platform ecosystems: The case of google apps

J. van Angeren, Vincent Blijleven, Slinger Jansen, Sjaak Brinkkemper

    Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


    Platforms and their marketplaces with complementarities are prominent in the software industry. As the proprietary platform itself exhibits elementary or generic functionality, platform owners depend on a complementor ecosystem populated by third-parties. At present, little is known about mechanisms at play in proprietary ecosystems. Addressing this deficiency, this paper investigates the Google Apps ecosystem through statistical and network analysis. Results show that the Google Apps ecosystem is sparsely connected, the majority of complementors develops one application (83%) and does not have visible relationships (73%). Furthermore, there is a positive relationship between the number of applications a complementor develops and the number of relationships it establishes. The research method and results presented can be used by practitioners as a reference to evaluate their structural position in the ecosystem, while it provides researchers with a quantification of ecosystem characteristics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Seventh IEEE International Conference on Digital Ecosystems and Technologies
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Interfirm networks
    • Platforms
    • Software ecosystems


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