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)

ZocDoc: Finding a doctor when you need one!
Saurav Patyal
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 12:51 am
Patients wait an average of 24 days to schedule an appointment with a doctor in U.S. cities.  This is a 30% jump from 2014 and has been driven by doctor shortages, aging baby boomers, and greater insurance penetration (thanks to [...]
Spotify | Should Investors Join The Band?
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 12:10 am
As the Swedish music service prepares to list its shares on the NYSE in the next few months, investors wonder about the sustainability of its business model: will the world’s largest streaming company stand up to quarterly pressures and convince [...]
Etsy’s battle against Amazon
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 7:54 pm
Etsy stands its ground against Amazon giant
The “Harvard” of Dating Apps: The League
Brittany W
Posted on March 3, 2018 at 3:19 pm
Is The League doing enough to sustain its global network? Does The League truly want us to find love? Or instead does it hope that we continue swiping left so that we stay on the platform and continue to grow [...]
Can OpenTable survive, or is it losing popularity?
Posted on March 3, 2018 at 5:02 pm
OpenTable owns no restaurants and instead, plays as the middle player between restaurants and customers in various cities around the U.S. and other countries. Today, OpenTable seats more than 23 million diners every month in 43,000 restaurants around the world. [...]
ClassPass: Flexing it’s Platform to Align with Consumer Preferences
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 4:45 pm
ClassPass has connected fitness enthusiasts with under-subscribed fitness studios since 2014. It's now changing its business model to reflect changes in the industry.
Grab Billion Dollar Opportunity in Southeast Asia
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 11:37 pm
Grab, a major ride-hailing company in Southeast Asia, will be able to capture untapped payment market in the region? How will the ride-hailing platform help Grab building the payment platform?
The League: Challenges of Scaling an Exclusive App
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 2:14 pm
How can The League grow its user base while all the while maintaining its brand as an exclusive place to find like-minded people to date?
Opendoor – a new platform marketplace for home buying in the US
E. Haviland
Posted on February 25, 2018 at 2:50 pm
Overtime, different organisations and individuals have tried to create new marketplaces and platforms to deal with the many inefficiencies, frictions, high transaction costs and suboptimal outcomes that occur within the housing market each time that a home is bought or [...]
Twitch: the ESPN of Esports
Hans Latta
Last modified on March 2, 2018 at 9:57 pm
Twitch - a live streaming platform for video games - has gained viewership that rivals CNN and MSNBC. With the help of its parent (Amazon), Twitch has a good chance of becoming the ESPN of Esports.
UberEats, yet another food delivery app ?
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 4:38 pm
The first move towards UberEverything, the mother of all platforms.
Drone Racing League
Last modified on March 2, 2018 at 12:37 pm
Drone Racing League pilots put on their VR helmets and enter a first person view of custom built drones that can fly at over 80 mph through stunning courses.
Grindr: Unique Positioning in the World of Geosocial Networking
Posted on February 26, 2018 at 11:39 pm
How Grindr was able to leverage network effects and overcome traditional problems facing dating apps to “grind” its way to a $240m payout
Charging Towards Change: The Future of Transportation
Posted on February 28, 2018 at 5:55 pm
ChargePoint is helping catalyze the adoption of electric vehicles by creating world’s largest network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations and transforming the future of transportation.
Grubhub – Easy for the customer, hard for the restaurant?
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 7:17 pm
In a platform that relies on featuring many options and attracting many users, which side to focus on?
Netflix: the rise of a new online streaming platform universe
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 4:09 pm
Description: Netflix was the first media company to capture a new consumer generation, "cord-nevers" and "cord-cutters", via a robust online streaming platform, where it connects content providers and content consumers, building value for the whole ecosystem.
Lending Club: Platform Success but P2P failure?
Last modified on March 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm
Lending club founder was able to build a robust lending platform against significant headwinds, but it's unclear if the resulting product matches the initial vision of a "peer to peer' marketplace.
2U: The Education Platform That Got It Right
Jay Kumar
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 4:29 pm
2U is an education platform that invests in and partners with universities to offer online degrees, charges students tuition, and shares revenue with its partners.
ClassPass: Navigating the Challenges of Building a Sustainable Marketplace Model
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 8:44 pm
The up-and-down story of this consumer subscription startup illustrates the difficulty and importance of getting the platform business model right.
Just the Ticket: The Evolution of SeatGeek
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 3:26 pm
SeatGeek has evolved from an aggregation platform to a platform that competes directly with large incumbents like StubHub and Ticketmaster for the business of re-sellers and original ticket rights holders.
Seamless: The Cost of Convenience
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 8:53 pm
As food-delivery services become more popular for their convenience, restaurants suffer.
How did a small player such as Coffee Meets Bagel manage to compete and win market share from a $3 billion market leader Tinder?
Posted on March 3, 2018 at 11:51 pm
How did a small player such as Coffee Meets Bagel manage to compete and win market share from a $3 billion market leader Tinder? Online dating is one of the most interesting platform business. Despite being around as a web-based [...]
Tidal: How to Lose the Music Streaming War
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 10:49 am
Tidal, never understanding its late market entrant position, never understood the market dynamics of the streaming music service well enough capture share.
India’s Agricultural Platform: Mandis
Posted on March 4, 2018 at 4:33 pm
Agriculture accounts for 25% of India’s GDP, with over 150 million farmers across the country. These farmers currently use mandis or marketplaces to sell their produce through agents to wholesalers. With over 28,000 mandis across the country, famers can travel [...]
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