5 Essential Books on Online Marketplaces for the Digital Economy
The concept of online marketplaces is nothing dramatically new. What is new, however, is how mobile technologies and a global population of suppliers in the digital economy have dramatically increased how goods and services are made available. Their trials and tribulations continue to play out on the pages of TechCrunch and the tech/business media. But if you’re looking to binge on the more profound levels of how to bring your own online marketplace to relevance, there are some great resources available.
Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy–And How to Make Them Work for You
by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary
Thinking about starting an online marketplace or digital economy platform? Platform Revolution starts at the fetal stage to educate how successful platform business are built, identifying target markets, and building and monetizing the necessary supplier networks that serve up the offerings. The book also highlights security, regulatory, and consumer trust tent poles every platform needs to build on. It’s an introduction to the online marketplace platform business for just about anyone to understand how they work.
Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment
by Sangeet Paul Choudary
Still interested? Sangeet Choudary (co-author on Platform Revolution) also wrote Platform Scale to talk about how platform-based businesses can be designed to take advantage of its naturally viral essence. He stresses the importance of thinking of the operational side of the business as being an omnipotent manager of an external ecosystem of producers and consumers. Being able to scale means building an efficient organization around these processes, thus creating value. If Platform Revolution is a map to understanding the location, Platform Scale is the blueprint for the infrastructure that makes up the city. Choudary’s guidance in this book is the perfect “deep cut” companion to discussions laid out in Platform Revolution.
Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms
by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee
The challenge of building sustainable ecosystems can be fraught with failure. There are nuances to every online marketplace, as you’re dealing with many facets of the equation. The authors of Matchmakers use economic theories to explain how to navigate new platform business endeavors in the confusing ocean of unknowns, while balancing the needs of suppliers and demanders. Matchmakers is loaded with real world examples (successful and failed) that illustrate these concepts.
The Network Imperative: How to Survive and Grow in the Age of Digital Business Models
by Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind
Geared more for the 98% of the existing traditional businesses in the world, rather than specifically online marketplaces, this page-turner discusses what those businesses need to transition into a digital economy-based mode of operation. How can these businesses maintain relevancy and lead the market by transforming their organization? The Network Imperative looks to address that very question.
Platform Ecosystems: Aligning Architecture, Governance, and Strategy 1st Edition
by Amrit Tiwana
Good ideas are fine, but building a stable, maintainable, scalable base for your online marketplace endeavor is absolutely necessary to go from a whim to a product for the ages. Make no mistake: this is a textbook, so for many it will be back-to-school night reading. Written for the CIO/CTO/developer/engineer in mind, it’s one that dives deep into the design, development, and governance of the platform from a software standpoint to make apps and architectures business-ready. Still, even the product designer and entrepreneur will gain valuable insight.