Platform Variety

March 02, 2021

Read The Full Prompt

Digital technologies give rise to a variety of platforms. Think about how iTunes makes apps available for iPhone users or Match.com helps those seeking partners.

For this assignment, please pick ONE of the following two options:

1) Identify a platform firm, describe how it creates and capture value, and evaluate its scalability and sustainability.  To make it interesting, please stay away from well-known platforms such as those owned by Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

2) Identify a firm that tried to work with a platform (e.g., Australian banks or X-Fire) or tried to become a platform (e.g., Lexoo). Describe the opportunities and challenges in its journey.

In both cases, stress the strategy for value creation, but feel free to make observations about aspects of value capture.

Create an approximately 750-word post. Make your contribution by 6pm on March 2.

Please also respond to and comment on three other posts by 8am on March 3. Feel free to use graphics, data, videos, and links to other sites to corroborate your points.

Selected posts will be discussed in class and also featured on the HBS Digital Initiative website.

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

Submitted (30)

Bumble: Monetizing Empowerment
Vikram Singh
Last modified on March 3, 2021 at 12:22 pm
A look at how bumble creates value while sticking to its mission of providing women more agency over their online dating experience.
OnlyFans: Revolutionizing the Online Sex Industry?
Karl Njeim
Last modified on March 2, 2021 at 9:57 am
OnlyFans is a platform that connects consumers with content creators (typically erotic content creators). Recently, the website has seen a flux of celebrities and influencers creating accounts to share exclusive content with their fans. Is this success here to stay?
Clubhouse – The Audio-Only Platform
Pranav Gupta
Posted on March 1, 2021 at 2:17 pm
Clubhouse is an interactive audio-only social platform. Users can join audio-only conversations like joining a group of people chit-chatting around an actual clubhouse. Once you leave, so does any record of the conversation. This makes for some interesting conversations, but [...]
Zeel: Massage on Demand
Max Pakapol
Last modified on March 1, 2021 at 9:25 pm
Massages have long held the benefits of improved blood circulation, reduced stress, and heightened mental alertness. Now you can enjoy these benefits at the comfort of your own home. Zeel, launched in 2012, is the first company to offer same-day, [...]
BetterHelp: Democratizing Access to Mental Health Services
Marcos
Last modified on March 1, 2021 at 6:56 pm
BetterHelp is the world’s largest mental health platform, connecting over 16 thousand therapists to nearly two million patients. The company was founded in 2013 by Alon Matas and aims to reinvent the way behavioral and mental health services are delivered.
Poshmark: Turning Rags Into Riches?
MMD
Posted on February 28, 2021 at 10:38 pm
Poshmark provides a platform for secondhand retail that has captured the heart of investors, but will its success last?
MindBody: the playbook for SaaS-enabled platforms
Bruno Novarini
Posted on March 1, 2021 at 11:54 am
Many of you may think of MindBody as the platform you use to book fitness classes. It turns out that this platform play was only introduced almost a decade later by MindBody. Since its inception, MindBody understood the power of [...]
Le Bon Coin: The secrets of a local business model
Stéphane V
Last modified on March 2, 2021 at 4:41 pm
This is the story of a company with very strong ambitions of local growth. Outside of France, people rarely heard of the name “Le Bon Coin” (in English “the good corner”), but it would be hard to find a single [...]