Author Archive: Sangeet Paul Choudary

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How Alibaba, Android and Airbnb change the geometry of business

How Alibaba, Android and Airbnb change the geometry of business

| November 21, 2014 | 1 Comments

One of the central concepts I talk about on this blog is the shift from linear business models to networked business models: from Pipes to Platforms. The business priorities while building these two contrasting forms of businesses are very different and I’ve explored that in detail in an earlier essay here. We also note that [...]

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Why social networks that pay you may be a bad idea

Why social networks that pay you may be a bad idea

| November 1, 2014 | 17 Comments

One of the most common questions I get asked, while talking about platforms, relates to the issue of labor on platforms. Facebook and Twitter, among others, get a lot of value from their users and make billions of dollars, but the users don’t see much kickback.   The economics of free-labor platforms Social networks like [...]

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Why New Payment Mechanisms Fail To Take Off

Why New Payment Mechanisms Fail To Take Off

| October 16, 2014 | 13 Comments

Note: This is a guest post by Karthik Shashidhar, a reader of the Platform Thinking blog and a Bangalore-based quant consultant. Karthik is a Resident Quant at the Takshashila Institution and is fascinated by the concept of liquidity, outside the financial markets, and particularly applied to platform markets.   Kenya’s hugely successful payments platform m-pesa [...]

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An 8 minute primer on Platform Thinking

An 8 minute primer on Platform Thinking

| October 11, 2014 | 2 Comments

What happens when industries start moving towards platforms? Which kinds of firms manage the transition well and which ones get left behind? What are the key factors that drive success for a firm moving towards platforms. At SIBOS 2014 in Boston last week, I was invited to deliver a short keynote on applying Platform Thinking [...]

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City-as-a-platform: Applying platform thinking to cities

City-as-a-platform: Applying platform thinking to cities

| September 27, 2014 | 8 Comments

Note: This is a guest post by Barbara Thornton. Barbara attended my lecture at Harvard Business School in July and has been applying principles of Platform Thinking to her work with cities and municipalities. This post leverages the Magnet – Tools & Rules – Data framework that I first alluded to in my Harvard Business [...]

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Engineering-as-marketing: How startups transform marketing

Engineering-as-marketing: How startups transform marketing

| September 9, 2014 | 1 Comments

This is a guest post by Justin Mares, the co-author of  Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers. Get the first 3 chapters free here.   You (or your team’s) engineering talents can get your startup traction directly by building tools and resources that reach more people. We call this traction channel engineering as marketing: [...]

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Uber: The feedback loop disrupting transportation

Uber: The feedback loop disrupting transportation

| September 1, 2014 | 3 Comments

When Uber was valued at tens of billions of dollars, there was significant criticism from valuation experts (Aswawth Damodaran, no less) and an equally compelling response from one of Uber’s earliest investors, Bill Gurley. One of the best things that emerged from these discussions (in conjunction with a back-of-the-napkin sketch tweeted by David Sacks, founder [...]

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Will peer lending platforms disrupt banking? Feedback loops may hold the key

Will peer lending platforms disrupt banking? Feedback loops may hold the key

| August 14, 2014 | 2 Comments

Earlier this week, I had an interesting tweet exchange with Giles Andrews, the founder of Zopa, one of the leading peer lending platforms. Clearly, Zopa and peer lending platforms of its ilk are going strong. The strong growth notwithstanding, they are a drop in the ocean of traditional lending models, as is often the case [...]

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The Lepore-Christensen Debate: A repeatable pattern for Platforms and Disruptive Innovation

The Lepore-Christensen Debate: A repeatable pattern for Platforms and Disruptive Innovation

| July 27, 2014 | 8 Comments

Airbnb was recently valued at an eleven figure sum, which overshadows all, except the largest hotel chains. The usual criticisms to tech valuations aside, the impact of Airbnb on the traditional hotel industry is definitely being felt. But why did the industry fail to spot this threat for so long? How does something like Airbnb [...]

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From Twitter to Tinder: Why you should stop launching at tech conferences

From Twitter to Tinder: Why you should stop launching at tech conferences

If you’re running a tech startup, you’ve probably tried to (or would love to, if you could) do at least one of the following: – Get TechCrunch to cover you – Launch at SXSW Unfortunately, as launch channels go, the more unimaginative the channel, the less successful it is at getting you traction. This is [...]

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