The owners of successful multi-sided platforms (e.g., MS Windows and television stations) profit from them by selling access to one group of users to another group of users – or to advertisers. But since multi-sided platforms are central to so much of our lives, we often limit their control by private organizations. Mechanisms include government ownership or regulation, standards, and open sourcing.
Some multi-sided platforms (the monetary and banking system and the judicial and legal system) define our economic framework. Others, like natural language, are fundamental to how we interact.
A useful way to understand our interaction with the environment in general is as a collection of (often) multi-sided platforms, each of which defines a level of macro interaction.