Platforms

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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The Core Interaction: What Platforms and Marketplaces can learn from Super Mario Bros.

The Core Interaction: What Platforms and Marketplaces can learn from Super Mario Bros.

| March 27, 2014 | 17 Comments

This essay is part of the ongoing series on The Fundamentals of Platform Thinking. A good part of my childhood was spent glued to the Telly playing Super Mario Bros. A generation that never swiped screens spent its childhood wielding joysticks and clicking on handheld controls. Try as she might, my aunt never understood what [...]

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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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How small ideas like Twitter, WhatsApp and Airbnb create large value through network effects

How small ideas like Twitter, WhatsApp and Airbnb create large value through network effects

| February 26, 2014 | 12 Comments

This is post #5 in the ongoing series on Platform Design, and is probably the most foundational post for all the work on this blog.     Twitter: You can use this to type 140 characters WhatsApp: Just like SMS but doesn’t cost much Airbnb: Rent out your spare mattress Uber: Just another taxi company [...]

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How Google’s crawlers, Uber’s drivers and Instagram’s selfies power the platform economy

How Google’s crawlers, Uber’s drivers and Instagram’s selfies power the platform economy

| February 5, 2014 | 19 Comments

This article is #4 in an ongoing series on the design of platform business models.  What do Google’s crawlers, Uber’s drivers and Instagram’s selfie-clickers have in common? Or for that matter Elance’s freelancers, Dribbble’s designers and Twitter’s tweeters.  In a world of platforms, they create the fuel needed to facilitate economic and social exchanges that [...]

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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). [...]

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Platform Thinking Roundup: The best articles of 2013

Platform Thinking Roundup: The best articles of 2013

| December 28, 2013 | 5 Comments

2013 started with JP Rangaswami declaring it the year of platforms. It’s ending with a piece I wrote for WIRED titled “Platforms are eating the world”. A lot has happened in between. We saw the proverbial final nails in the coffin of an industry that has been tellingly transformed by platform business models with Nokia [...]

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Disruption, Failure and Metrics: Explaining Platform Thinking

Disruption, Failure and Metrics: Explaining Platform Thinking

| December 9, 2013 | 13 Comments

Excerpts from an interview with YourStory.com earlier this year. The original interview is available here. Also, Part 1 is available here. Disruption: What advice would you give to startups and entrepreneurs starting a business today? How can they identify industries that are ripe for disruption? The best way to identify an industry for disruption is [...]

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Owning The Transaction – Why Marketplaces Need To Think Like SAAS Businesses.

Owning The Transaction – Why Marketplaces Need To Think Like SAAS Businesses.

| November 12, 2013 | 13 Comments

Marketplaces are difficult businesses to get off the ground. A marketplace without buyers cannot attract sellers and vice versa. In fact, the infamy of this proverbial chicken and egg problem detracts entrepreneurs from the challenges that a marketplace presents after it has successfully gained adoption and is successfully matching buyers with sellers. After all, marketplaces for [...]

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The Waze-ification of the Physical World

The Waze-ification of the Physical World

| October 29, 2013 | 3 Comments

This article first appeared on Harvard Business Review. I’m delighted to have co-authored this with Mark Bonchek.  We are moving from a world in which physical products are separate to one in which they are connected.  Computers were just the beginning.  Appliances and engines now send alerts when they need to be serviced.  Cameras upload [...]

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