Competition

Uber, Etsy and the internet of everybody: A visual guide to networked businesses

Uber, Etsy and the internet of everybody: A visual guide to networked businesses

| January 23, 2014 | 14 Comments

This post is part of an ongoing series on the fundamentals of Platform Thinking.    The natural purpose of a network is to connect. Fax machines, telephone networks, stock exchanges and credit card networks have done exactly that . With the internet, we now have a universal network that connects everyone with everyone (well, almost). [...]

×
The Rise of the Platform: A seismic shift in business models

The Rise of the Platform: A seismic shift in business models

| October 19, 2013 | 24 Comments

Note: A variation of this article appeared as an op-ed on The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch. This was co-authored with Geoffrey Parker (@g2parker, Tulane Univ.) and Marshall Van Alstyne (@infoecon, Boston Univ.). They currently serve as research scientists at the MIT Sloan School of Management.   Nokia just sold to Microsoft. Blackberry announced that it is considering putting [...]

×
How startups compete with friction in product design

How startups compete with friction in product design

| August 14, 2013 | 9 Comments

Startups need Traction. A startup which doesn’t get discovered doesn’t go anywhere. This is all the more critical for platform businesses which rely on their users to create value and network effects. In the specific case of platform businesses, Traction dictates the value that is created. A social network without enough users or a marketplace [...]

×
The First-Mover Disadvantage: Why Startups Fail

The First-Mover Disadvantage: Why Startups Fail

Amazon is entering India. The timing, and not the move in itself, catches the eye. 2010-2011 was a period of rampant funding and hazy valuation calculation for Indian e-commerce. Flipkart was widely celebrated as the first mover that got most things right. Amazon is, of course, coming to the party once it’s over and done with. Cash [...]

×
How to disrupt Craigslist

How to disrupt Craigslist

Craigslist, that ugly set of electric-blue links that still stands around like an exhibit from the museum of early web design. Poor design and a general lack of features haven’t come in the way of the site’s popularity. Not only is the site an eyesore, it’s a regular destination for scammers and spammers, alike. How [...]

×
How to become a billion dollar startup: AirBnB, YouTube and Platform Thinking

How to become a billion dollar startup: AirBnB, YouTube and Platform Thinking

| March 13, 2013 | 2 Comments

Note: This essay was first featured on TheNextWeb Technology startups are disruptive because they are driven by a desire to solve an unsolved problem in a unique way and create new value. Most large and established companies, in contrast, are driven by a desire to defeat competition and protect their market turf. Consider the problem [...]

×
Platform Thinking: How to get startup ideas

Platform Thinking: How to get startup ideas

| February 4, 2013 | 1 Comments

How does one find new startup ideas? Every business is built around solving a customer pain. Solving a customer pain creates value which in turn, if successfully harnessed, can be monetized. Platforms, in particular, connect demand and supply to solve customer pain on both sides. Platform Thinking and Startup Ideas One of the patterns for [...]

×
A Platform Thinking Approach To Problem Solving

A Platform Thinking Approach To Problem Solving

| January 2, 2013 | 1 Comments

Business is about solving customer problems. It’s been claimed that business is primarily about beating the competition or about maximizing shareholder returns but if the successes (and failures) of the past decade are anything to go by, the primary goal of business is solving customer problems. If you think about the approach that businesses take [...]

×
Startup Suicide: How successful startups kill themselves by competing on features

Startup Suicide: How successful startups kill themselves by competing on features

| December 4, 2012 | 3 Comments

Startups that do their homework well start with understanding the end-user inside out. Often, they build out a great product to address the user’s needs. But somewhere down the line, when a competitor shows up and starts stealing users, they fall into the trap of trying to be what the competitor is and copy those [...]

×
Vimeo vs. MegaUpload vs. YouTube: Contrasting Strategies Of Competing Platforms

Vimeo vs. MegaUpload vs. YouTube: Contrasting Strategies Of Competing Platforms

| October 30, 2012 | 1 Comments

Startups often believe that technical aspects of the product provide competitive advantages and that two products with similar technical aspects have little scope for differentiation. Hence, it is believed that a late mover with similar technology cannot get traction and that the early mover has a significant advantage. However, as we shall demonstrate with the [...]

×