Growing Businesses in the Age of Platforms

March 05, 2018

Read The Full Prompt

One consequence of the digital transformation is that platforms are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s economy.

Assignment

For this module please pick ONE company/organization and discuss how it creates and captures value in platform markets:

Issues you may want to address (feel free to consider other related issues not listed below):

  • How to scale up platform businesses?
  • How do various factors such as local/global network effects and multi-homing affect competitive dynamics in platform markets?
  • When can an entrant take over market leadership when competing with an incumbent in a platform market?
  • How can product/service-centric firms grow into platform-centric firms?
  • How do firms cooperate and compete with powerful platforms when they serve as complementors and partners of these platforms?

Create an approximately 500-750 word post to make your contribution on digital.hbs.edu/platform-digit by 6pm on March 5. Please create appropriate tags for your post. Please also respond to and comment on three other posts per module. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Note: Since our third module is on crowd-based business models (business models that leverage collective intelligence from a large number of users), please do not pick crowd-based companies such as Kickstarter and Threadless for this OK blog post.

Submitted (81)

How Did We Decide Where to Eat before Yelp?
MHS
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 3:35 pm
Yelp connects users, local businesses, and developers through an online platform to provide what the Yellow Pages used to: a comprehensive directory of businesses. Yelp has grown through encouraging community generated reviews, and developing value added services on top of [...]
ofo: is bike-sharing really part of the sharing economy?
Gloria
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Ofo was founded in 2014 and is the first station-free bike sharing platform in the world. It is operated through a smartphone application, connecting users and bike manufacturers. Since founding, Ofo has grown exponentially both in terms of its customer [...]
Toutiao, an AI-powered News Platform
Ting
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 12:21 am
Jinri Toutiao (means today’s headlines), a tech unicorn in China, is a news and information content platform powered by Artificial Intelligence. The company is China’s largest mobile platform of content creation, aggregation and distribution, with 120 million daily active users [...]
Mastercard: The Best Kept Platform Secret
Sairah
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 3:03 pm
Mastercard survived through many financial technology disruptions because of the strengths in its core business model, but will it finally be tested by cryptocurrencies?
Homejoy: A Silicon Valley darling’s path to the grave
EIO
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 9:52 pm
Homejoy was one of the first platform companies to disrupt the $400 billion home cleaning market. The company aimed to create value by using algorithms to connect homeowners with cleaners and by scheduling cleanings, all of which could be done [...]
Yelp: Re-accelerating Growth
JY
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 5:49 pm
Although we likely still agree that Yelp remains a top choice for restaurant search and reviews, the company is facing slowing growth due to increased competition and less success in expanding its platform into other categories
Battle.net, Activision’s Answer to the Age of Platforms
HBS2018
Last modified on May 1, 2018 at 2:08 pm
Activision Blizzard attracts hundreds of millions of gamers every month and has engagement levels that rival those of Facebook. As platform's continue to dominate the global economy, it is important ATVI leverages this amazing fan support to thrive in this [...]
SweepSouth: The Uber for domestic cleaning
Crystal
Last modified on March 6, 2018 at 1:44 am
In a market where households make frequent use of domestic cleaning services, SweepSouth has simplified the process of identifying reliable domestic workers. While the story has been positive thus far, can this business model scale?
The Modalist – Getting Paid for Retail Therapy
MM
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 8:03 am
Combining the world's top fashion brands and retailers, a robust search engine, and a compelling cash back loyalty program, The Modalist aims to elevate the online shopping experience.