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 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)

Amazon Flex
Posted on February 24, 2017 at 10:25 pm
Like Uber, but without the drunk people
Making Higher Education Accessible – Coursera
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm
Challenges along the way in creating innovative higher education solutions.
Ethereum: fueling the hype around blockchain?
Yezi Peng
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm
Will Ethereum be the platform that successfully brings blockchain into the mainstream?
Yelp – discovery engine for local businesses
Anish Nahar
Last modified on February 25, 2017 at 11:49 am
How adding value to both sides and using network effects to their advantage, Yelp has become the go-to-place to discover local businesses. But is that sustainable?
Craigslist: a platform eroded by platforms
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 5:43 pm
Craigslist grew rapidly by leveraging hyper-local network effects - but now faces market share erosion as other platforms enter niche segments. Who will win, and how?
Tinder: A Platform After Your Own Heart
Megan Trout
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 11:38 am
Tinder: trying to help you find love despite the rough seas of multihoming and networking effects.
Amazon vs. Etsy – an incumbent’s futile attempt to disrupt the “vintage” category
Onaizah P
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Why Etsy witnessed the entry and fall of the giant Amazon in the niche category of handmade and vintage items
Turo: Airbnb of Auto
Brandon K
Posted on February 24, 2017 at 7:35 pm
Turo, the Airbnb of autos, is well-positioned to scale more quickly than competitors to offer the best car rental experiences in the country.
Steam: Digital Distribution Pioneer
Last modified on February 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm
Steam: From pushing game updates to a digital distribution platform
In Airbnb We Trust
Last modified on February 23, 2017 at 2:36 am
Airbnb has cleverly built a platform to create trust among complete strangers.
From Product to Platform: John Deere Revolutionizes Farming
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 5:59 pm
See how a 179-year-old company has created the go-to platform for the agricultural industry, allowing John Deere to compete against both other farm equipment manufacturers as well as new Ag Tech entrants.
Google Maps Doubles Down on Network Effects to Stave Off Formidable Competition
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm
Google Maps has evolved into a platform boasting powerful direct and indirect network effects.
Is Prosper prospering? The potential shift of banking into a platform business
Last modified on February 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm
Inherently risky or opportunities for value creation and capturing?
UPS Prepares to Take on Amazon
Last modified on February 24, 2017 at 4:07 pm
Has UPS thought of "Fulfilled by UPS?" It could be its best bet to defend against Amazon.
Uber: Revolutionizing transport – one ride at a time!!
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 6:00 pm
Uber started out in San Francisco as a simple on demand cab service. Today, no company better exemplifies the power of platforms in an era where digital and physical environments are beginning to merge.
Honor: the next “Uber for elderly care”
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 7:31 pm
Honor wants to disrupt the elderly care market by providing quality, efficient and convenience elderly care services to the home.
Transferwise: Disruptive money transfer
Tomo Nakagawa
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 10:27 am
A platform of borderless money transfer with significant cost benefit.
Facebook Bets Big on Bots with Messenger Platform
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 9:28 am
With a billion people using Facebook Messenger – and Zuckerberg’s public promise that Messenger will make sure you “never have to call 1-800-FLOWERS again” – will Facebook’s newest platform prove that bots are hot… or not?
Printing money: How Valve went from being an indy game developer to the most profitable company per employee in the USA
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm
Video game development has traditionally been dominated by large developers with deep pockets to invest in marketing, hire legions of programmers, and pay upfront capital costs. However, particularly in PC gaming, where developers can bypass some of the barriers to [...]
Li & Fung – The Downfall of a Platform
Jack K
Last modified on February 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm
On March 6th of this year, the supply chain management giant Li & Fung will be unceremoniously removed from the Hang Seng Index, a globally recognized index of Blue Chip Hong Kong Companies, to be replaced by Greely Automobile. It [...]
Can a platform, once lost, regain its power?
Last modified on February 28, 2017 at 8:49 pm
rise and fall of a mobile application market in South Korea
A hard pivot: Fitbit repositioning from wearables to healthcare platform
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 2:47 pm
Fitbit announced last week it is planning a transition into becoming an integrated healthcare platform. What does that mean for the wearables company and will it succeed?
Grubhub/Seamless – A Platform for Hungry Diners and Restaurants Hungry for Business
Dan Sawyer
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 4:47 pm
Grubhub and Seamless have transformed the take-out and delivery markets across major metropolitan areas, creating a massive and highly profitable two-sided platform, linking hungry diners with independent restaurants. Though combined as of 2013, both businesses successfully executed the build-out of [...]
The Unreal Platform for Game Developers
Last modified on February 24, 2017 at 7:55 pm
Because where else could I buy an Enchanted Forest for $49.95?
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