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)

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
The rise of a digital agriculture platform
Lama
Posted on March 1, 2018 at 8:12 pm
The climate corporation, a subsidiary of agriculture giant Monsato is on its journey towards building the “Amazon of farmers". Will they be able to achieve this goal?
How Open is Too Open?
Anton
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
EAP
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 [...]
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.
Tokopedia: Stay ahead!
Nandx
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 5:18 pm
As a developing e-commerce ecosystem in Indonesia, Tokopedia expands its business vertically and horizontally through innovation and keeps staying ahead.
The Etsy Way
NT
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Etsy is the two-sided platform for arts, crafts, and unique products. But how big can this company grow by only servicing a market more fragmented than SMBs?