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)

Shopify – Superior Product to Global Platform
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 5:47 pm
Shopify burst on the scene in 2004 as a straightforward way for merchants to set up an online store at a hosted domain. The Canadian firm initially gained traction through its product superiority and affordability. Merchants and customers loved the [...]
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 [...]
Can Construction Tech Companies Win the War Over the Smart Home Market?
Last modified on March 3, 2018 at 3:26 pm
Silicon Valley startup, Acre Designs, wants to change the way we buy, design and interact with our homes. Could the pre-fabricated house be to Acre Designs what the iPhone is to Apple?
Trust eats network effects at Airbed & Breakfast
Last modified on March 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm
Airbnb builds trust to maximize networks effects and minimize disintermediation
Venmo: The Leader (?) in Peer to Peer Payments
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 11:45 pm
How Venmo founders created a leading platform in the mobile payment space.
Etsy – Maintaining a Competitive Marketplace
Posted on March 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm
How will Etsy maintain and grow its marketplace in light of competition from Amazon Handmade and Ebay?
The Black List: The Online Script Marketplace
Posted on March 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Revolutionalizing the film development process through an online platform where filmmakers and writers meet