Data

A SCALING FRAMEWORK FOR NETWORK EFFECT PLATFORMS

A SCALING FRAMEWORK FOR NETWORK EFFECT PLATFORMS

One of the most common misconceptions about running a platform business is that it’s all straight and easy once the initial chicken and egg problem of getting both producers and consumers is solved. Ironically, in an age where kicking off new platforms isn’t quite as difficult as it used to be, the most important platform [...]

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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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Trolls, Vandalism and Report Abuse: A Framework for Online Community Management

Trolls, Vandalism and Report Abuse: A Framework for Online Community Management

| October 12, 2013 | 1 Comments

Online platforms work on principles similar to offline communities. The onset of crime and vandalism in a community can lead to large-scale abandonment. The same applies to online communities and marketplaces, especially as they grow in size. Network effects make a community more valuable as it scales. However, the onset of vandalism could make network effects work [...]

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When Social Fails: How Sampling Costs Kill Social Curation

When Social Fails: How Sampling Costs Kill Social Curation

| September 14, 2013 | 5 Comments

Social curation is a great way to scale any business relying on user-generated content. YouTube and Quora enable the community to create value through upvotes/downvotes and the ability to report abuse. Startups that rely on user generated content often scale when they unlock social curation. For all its benefits, social curation isn’t fool-proof. Curation may [...]

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Why #Hashtags are the future of monetizing social media

Why #Hashtags are the future of monetizing social media

| June 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

You can’t invite people to a party and try to sell them stuff. Pretty much every starry-eyed startup that went after eyeballs gets it by now. Over the last seven years the web has moved away from a consumption medium (think NY times) to a creation-consumption medium (think Twitter, Facebook). But we’ve been very tardy [...]

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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 [...]

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Marketplace Metrics: The three success factors

Marketplace Metrics: The three success factors

Note: This article was originally published on TheNextWeb Marketplaces are difficult businesses to run. Like all multi-sided platform businesses, they suffer from the classic chicken and egg problem: the technology has no value unless buyers and sellers are present and you can’t get the buyers on board unless you have sellers and you can’t bring in sellers [...]

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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 [...]

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How disruptive platforms get mainstream adoption

How disruptive platforms get mainstream adoption

| March 4, 2013 | 3 Comments

“What got you here won’t get you there.” Career advice that works equally well in the world of online platforms.   The single factor that separates a successful platform from a failed one is the development of network effects. Most platform businesses fail because they never develop network effects. Social networks without users, content platforms without [...]

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Reverse Network Effects: The Challenges of Scaling an Online Platform

Reverse Network Effects: The Challenges of Scaling an Online Platform

| February 26, 2013 | 5 Comments

  Network effects are the most exciting aspect of Platform Thinking. Platform Thinking is an approach to business which looks at an online business as being composed of two elements: platform and value created on the platform. YouTube provides the platform, users create the value (videos) on the platform. KickStarter provides a platform but users [...]

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