Growth

Interaction Limit: Real-world constraints on digital platforms

Interaction Limit: Real-world constraints on digital platforms

| December 3, 2014 | 2 Comments

Sangeet’s Note: While several factors determine the ability of a platform to enable an interaction, one of the factors is the real-world Interaction Limit for that particular interaction, as elaborated on by Devinder (guest writer) in the article below. This is specifically important for interactions where the exchange of goods and services occurs off the [...]

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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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Engineering-as-marketing: How startups transform marketing

Engineering-as-marketing: How startups transform marketing

| September 9, 2014 | 3 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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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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From Social Media to the Sharing Economy: The Three Drivers of Business Disruption

From Social Media to the Sharing Economy: The Three Drivers of Business Disruption

First we went wild about social media disrupting the world of business communications and media. Then the Sharing Economy sprang up and we talked about how the traditional ownership model was getting disrupted. We’re looking at the 3D printer as the democratization of manufacturing much like Twitter and blogging democratized publishing and YouTube democratized broadcast. [...]

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Piggybacking Mechanics: WhatsApp, Instagram and Network Effect Marketing

Piggybacking Mechanics: WhatsApp, Instagram and Network Effect Marketing

| April 29, 2014 | 10 Comments

Welcome to the age of the zero-dollar marketing startup. WhatsApp, and earlier Instagram, have officially become a permanent part of startup lore for having built multi-billion dollar businesses without (reportedly) spending a dime on marketing. Meanwhile, Airbnb has grown from a hipster community of mattress-renters to the world’s largest provider of accommodations without spending even [...]

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Platform Metrics: The core metric for platforms, networks and marketplaces

Platform Metrics: The core metric for platforms, networks and marketplaces

| April 17, 2014 | 14 Comments

You become what you measure. From my experience working with clients across enterprises and startups, the most common reason for failure and inefficiency is the focus on convenient, but inappropriate, metrics. Your technology doesn’t determine the business you build. Neither does your organizational capability. The metric you optimize for is the single biggest factor that [...]

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How to design the Airbnb for X, the Uber for Y and the Twitter for Z

How to design the Airbnb for X, the Uber for Y and the Twitter for Z

| March 12, 2014 | 25 Comments

This is post #6 in the ongoing series on Platform Design Principles.  Are you building the Airbnb for X, the Uber for Y or the Quora for Z?  Well, then this article might just be for you. I work a lot with startups/enterprises building marketplaces and platforms to solve diverse problems. But these startups often [...]

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