Growing Businesses in the Age of Platforms

February 26, 2017

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 multihoming 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 Feb 26. 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.

Please prepare a 2-3 min summary of your blog post before class.

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 (94)

Is Tapjoy Finding the Key to Mobile App Monetization?
sijwang
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 4:48 pm
Tapjoy, founded in 2007, operates a mobile advertising and intelligence platform that connects app publishers (such as mobile game developers) with both advertisers and users. App publishers that integrate Tapjoy’s advertising solution into their apps have access to a comprehensive [...]
Go-Jek: Lovechild between TaskRabbit and Uber
GJ
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 5:20 pm
This picture taken on January 20, 2015 shows a gridlock in Jakarta’s main road. Jakarta has just won the distinction of having the worlds worst traffic, according to a recent index. (BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images) Jakarta was chosen as the city with [...]
Upwork: Connecting Freelancers to Gigs On-Demand
Alice
Last modified on February 20, 2017 at 11:45 pm
Upwork connects freelancers with remote work on-demand. As a two-sided platform, Upwork built and scaled both its freelancer and employer client base. With indirect network effects, this platform captures value by serving as a connector, facilitating matching, communication, and payment.
How much pie do you get on OpenTable?
Hao Wu
Posted on February 24, 2017 at 5:42 pm
After initial success, OpenTable now confronts competition in multiple segments of the dining information business, and sees diminishing future for growth.
YC: organizing the seed-funding ecosystem
opheliac
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm
Y Combinator (YC) started in early 2005 to create a better seed funding ecosystem. Since then, it has spurred a new category of incubators and accelerators such as TechStars, AngelPad. These accelerators provide short-term intensive coaching and mentorship. Before this [...]
Etsy: Supporting Handmade
Andrew Yoo
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm
In creating a platform that supports creative entrepreneurs around the world, Etsy hopes to reimagine commerce and build a more sustainable world.
Chunyu Doctor, the largest telemedicine platform in China
Steelhead
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm
Chunyu Doctor (春雨医生) is an online telemedicine platform in China. Among the telemedicine companies in China, it has the largest Internet penetration rate, and it has accumulated more than $100 million in capital. In September 2016, Cycares, the international branch [...]
Amazon Music – Is Value Capture Enough?
Alexander Clamor
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 7:17 am
Amazon Prime Music I’m often surprised at how many individuals are Amazon Prime members but are not aware that included in their membership is access to Amazon’s digital music streaming service, Prime Music. With over a million songs and a [...]
Etsy: How One ‘Crafty’ Company Carved Out a Niche
Felix J
Posted on February 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm
Etsy has a current 1.5 billion dollar market capitalization. From its birth in the mid-2000s e-commerce has exploded in almost every product category imaginable. How has Etsy managed to stay afloat among titans like eBay and Amazon?