[...] It would seem that these are asset-less companies; we might call them virtual platforms. Yet the key is that they do own the most important asset: the platform of software and data analytics. Lean platforms operate through a hyper-outsourced model, whereby workers are outsourced, fixed capital is outsourced, maintenance costs are outsourced, and training is outsourced. All that remains is a bare extractive minimum--control over the platform that enables a monopoly rent to be gained.
another asset is of course reputation. look at what's been happening to Uber lately