Seeding Platforms and Networks

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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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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The network effect playbook: Social products win with utility, not invites

The network effect playbook: Social products win with utility, not invites

| March 27, 2013 | 2 Comments

Note: This essay was first featured as a guest post on Andrew Chen’s blog. It’s one of the best resources out there for internet startups. The proverbial chicken and egg problem of building a new social product is well understood among tech startups, and it’s been commonplace to follow two contrasting mechanisms for getting traction. Traditionally, startups [...]

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How to get users to contribute on a creativity platform

How to get users to contribute on a creativity platform

| December 8, 2012 | 16 Comments

Let’s loosely define creativity platforms as platforms that allow creators to express themselves, and possibly get an audience for their ‘creations’. YouTube, Dribbble, 500px, Instagram, Flickr… the list goes on. A platform without creators is a ghost town and there is little incentive for consumers to use it. Replicating the technology of YouTube is a [...]

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How to build a two-sided marketplace with the Yelp model… and why Craigslist hates it!

How to build a two-sided marketplace with the Yelp model… and why Craigslist hates it!

| November 24, 2012 | 5 Comments

I’ve talked about the chicken and egg problem in seeding two-sided marketplaces at length earlier. Producers won’t show up without Consumers and vice versa. One of the models that I’d proposed, that works especially well for startups like ShopKick is to build the value proposition in such a manner that your producers bring in the [...]

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Micro-universe: How Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp And Etsy Exploited Pre-Existing Network Structures

Micro-universe: How Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp And Etsy Exploited Pre-Existing Network Structures

| September 18, 2012 | 4 Comments

This is a follow-up post on the series on conquering a micro-universe, the first two parts of which can be read here and here. In my subsequent interactions with some of the readers, I realized that there seems to be some confusion about the term and I just wanted to clarify it here. A micro-universe [...]

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Putting The Market Before The Product

Putting The Market Before The Product

| September 9, 2012 | 2 Comments

A platform usually needs a burst of activity to gain traction, leading to enough interactions among the users. Such bursts of activity require a large group of users to simultaneously arrive. As a result, building a potential market beforehand is critical in case of platforms. This post discusses platforms that executed this successfully.

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The Intersection Of Freemium, Networks and Marketplaces

The Intersection Of Freemium, Networks and Marketplaces

| September 4, 2012 | 10,164 Comments

What’s common to Freemium, Social Networks and Marketplaces? Very little, apparently. Except that it’s a brilliant pricing strategy for getting early traction on a network business.

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Exclusivity: The Antisocial Way To Seed A Social Product

Exclusivity: The Antisocial Way To Seed A Social Product

| August 22, 2012 | 1 Comments

Gmail’s exclusivity was a masterstroke from Google that enabled it to enter and dominate a product space as commodifed as email. But Google Wave was a dud. What does it take for exclusivity to work?

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Conquer Your Micro-Universe: Choosing Your Harvard

Conquer Your Micro-Universe: Choosing Your Harvard

| August 21, 2012 | 3 Comments

Mark Zuckerberg started with Harvard and went on to conquer the globe. Choosing the right micro-universe can set you on the path to success just as choosing the wrong one can yield little more than a brief spill in the vanity metrics pool.

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