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)

Lazada – Alibaba’s point of entrance into South East Asian eCommerce
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 11:08 am
South East Asian equivalent to Alibaba and its role in building Chinese eCommerce, Lazada has pioneered online shopping in the region by building its eCommerce platform and becoming the online destination site for consumers and one-stop gateway to the region [...], a platform for furniture shopping
Yi Xie
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 5:51 pm
How does an platform eCommerce company compete in the age of Amazon? Offer more to the supply side.
Box: Enterprise cloud content platform
Erik K
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 11:50 pm
The Box Platform provides enterprise developers with a powerful set of cloud content management APIs
Coursera: The Past and Future of Online Learning Platforms
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 4:16 pm
Introduction The New York Times proclaimed 2012 the year of the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). MOOCS, online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web, made the audacious claim that they would “democratize access to education [...]
WeWork: “A Platform for Creators”
Last modified on February 20, 2017 at 10:11 am
WeWork: A platform for work space, community, and business services
Has a Winner-Take-All Strategy Failed Instacart?
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 2:14 pm
With $220M in VC funding, Instacart was poised to become the premium grocery delivery platform. As it's model shows cracks two years later, I wonder if a Winner Take All strategy was appropriate to its business.
HotelTonight: A Trendsetter Tries to Keep Up
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 1:57 pm
With fierce competition from major OTAs and high levels of multi-homing, can HotelTonight, the pioneer of last-minute mobile hotel bookings, stay in the game?
StubHub: The Best Platform for Fans to Find Fun
Alex Sambvani
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 4:39 pm
With strong network effects and low levels of multihoming, StubHub has dominated the market because of its massive user base relative to competitors.
Poshmark: A Social Media Platform for Fashionable Resellers and Buyers
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm
Poshmark, a fashion resale platform, utilizes well-known social media tools to promote strong network effects.
So Many Cranberries
Last modified on February 25, 2017 at 4:28 pm
ParkWise helps drivers find parking spots without agitating local officials.
WeChat – The One App That Rules Them All
Mohit Mittal
Last modified on March 28, 2017 at 12:10 pm
Introduced as a messaging app in 2011 by Tencent, WeChat has evolved into lifestyle platform for users in China. With ~850 million monthly active users, it now offers to its users what Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Venmo, Grubhub, Amazon, Uber, Apple [...]
Wechat Mini Program: One Step Further Evolving into A One-Stop-Solution Platform from A Messaging Product
Last modified on February 28, 2017 at 9:32 pm
The secret recipe for Wechat to become dominantly popular in China.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Online Gaming Platform
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm
As a blockbuster mobile game, Hearthstone is the poster-child of Blizzard Entertainment's evolving business model in the digital age
Netflix’s uncertain future
Robert S
Last modified on March 2, 2017 at 6:34 pm
Netflix and the content trap Growing a new marketplace platform in a competitive space.
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm
Toptal is a two-sided marketplace that matches freelancers who are looking for work on one side, with companies looking to hire temporary workers on the other side. Even though it competed with established large platforms, the company managed to grow [...]
GXB: a blockchain-based decentralized data exchange platform
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 1:02 pm
Gongxinbao (GXB), a start-up in China, provides a trustworthy and consumer-centric marketplace for data exchange by building a blockchain-based decentralized platform. Will this adoption of new technology allow GXB defeat other incumbents in the platform market? Can GXB’s business model [...]
AirBnB moves Beyond Home Booking to Reduce MultiHoming
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm
AirBnb adds services to increase differentiation and network effects, in an effort to reduce multihoming and own the market.
OYO rooms: You stay in hotel “On Your Own” terms
Last modified on February 28, 2017 at 10:34 pm
OYO rooms: pioneering comfort stay at an affordable price
HireVue: A Digital Platform for Recruiting
Nicolas II
Last modified on February 23, 2017 at 9:34 pm
Digital recruiting platform HireVue is disrupting traditional recruiting processes
YouTube: A Platform Democratizing Video
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm
YouTube has revolutionized the way we create, consume and share content. This platform has broken the barriers of entry into the media world and allowed us all to express ourselves like never before.
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 [...]
Slack: B2B’s Home Base, the Everything Enterprise Platform
Ellen DaSilva
Last modified on February 17, 2017 at 10:43 pm
Slack's humble beginnings as a feature within a game soon became a product with a cult-like following. Is its rapid growth a result of its platform for 3rd party enterprise SaaS integrations, and does that raise switching costs as the [...]
LiquidSpace and the Platformization of Office Rentals
Last modified on February 26, 2017 at 6:59 pm
A door down from WeWork, there is LiquidSpace. Both companies are pursuing a modern approach to the office space marketplace, but LiquidSpace has stayed truer to the rules of platform strategy.
DraftKings – Making Fantasy Sports a Daily Activity
Posted on February 26, 2017 at 4:28 pm
DraftKings is the market leader in the DFS arena because of their product breadth and their user interface and experience.