Business Models

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

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

| April 17, 2014 | 7 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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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 | 16 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 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 | 10 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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The Three Design Elements for Designing Platforms

The Three Design Elements for Designing Platforms

| January 17, 2014 | 12 Comments

This article is #2 in an ongoing series on Platform Thinking.  What does the traditional world of manufacturing have in common with the way networked platforms work? How can a basic understanding of factory design help us change the way we think about designing internet platforms, marketplaces and social networks? I’ve written previously about the distinction [...]

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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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The Creator Web: The Dribbblisation of work platforms

The Creator Web: The Dribbblisation of work platforms

| November 26, 2013 | 9 Comments

Note: This article first appeared in Fast Company. I am pleased to have co-authored with TED Books Author Damon Brown.  The Internet has powered the rise of a new creative class. Global reach, real-time feedback, and reputation building have redefined the creator. Today, the Instagram-wielding teen is as much a member of this burgeoning creative class [...]

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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 | 11 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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