Drawing upon the literature on ecosystem ecology and socio-cultural evolution, the current study proposes an evolutionary framework for understanding the dynamics of service platform ecosystems. This evolutionary framework identifies three key components of the service platform ecosystem: (a) the diverse types of species, (b) the presence of both cooperative and competitive interactions within and among species, and (c) a common resource and environmental space. The evolutionary model of variation, selection, and retention is then introduced to explain how platform business models change over time. The article concludes with a discussion of directions for future research on the evolution of platform ecosystems in the sharing economy.
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