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.


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 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 Open is Too Open?
Posted on March 6, 2018 at 11:07 pm
How Google had to adjust the openness of its Android platform, just as Apple had done before them
Wish – The Platform for the Cost-Conscious Consumer
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 8:51 pm
Wish, the online marketplace for unbranded goods, is currently the top free shopping app for both iOS and Android, helping to support its $8 billion valuation. The app allows users to shop for millions of SKUs in categories such as [...]
How Did We Decide Where to Eat before Yelp?
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?
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
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
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
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 [...]
Amazon: The New King of Music?
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 6:07 pm
Amazon has become the third largest music subscription globally [1]. Should Apple and Spotify be scared? Yes.
Trendyol riding the wave of Turkish e-commerce growth
Last modified on March 6, 2018 at 2:08 pm
Trendyol, launched by an HBS dropout only 6 years ago, is now Turkey’s largest flash sales e-retailer. With 20 million sales a year, annual run-rate of almost $350 million and backing from top international venture investors (Tiger Global Management, Kleiner [...]
Klarna: One-click Wonder or International Online Banking Powerhouse?
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 6:24 pm
Since first appearing on the e-commerce scene in 2005, this Swedish company has been exacerbating online shopping addictions and helping retailers combat #cartabandonment. With 60 million unique customers, flexible payment options, a vault of transaction data, and a new shiny [...]