Amazon. Alibaba. Facebook. Uber. These types of businesses—known as platforms, or multi-sided markets—are driving the economy more than ever. In an environment where markets, consumers, and technology are ever changing and increasingly interdependent, these businesses, which bring together a number of groups who need each other and make it easy for them to work together, are essential. But platforms operate very differently than traditional, one-sided businesses (like, say, grocery stores), and their logic can seem not only counterintuitive but downright counterproductive.
In Matchmakers, David Evans and Richard Schmalensee, two economists who were among the first to analyze platform businesses and discover their principles, explain the logic of platforms and how to analyze your own opportunities.
About the Author
David S. Evans is an economist, business adviser, and entrepreneur. He has done pioneering research into the new economics of multisided platforms. He has also consulted for many of the largest multisided platform businesses in the world and served as an adviser to a number of start-up matchmakers. He has co-founded four companies. David also holds academic positions at the University of Chicago Law School and the University College London.
Richard Schmalensee is the Howard W. Johnson Professor of Management and Economics, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He served as the dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management for nine years and as a Member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers. Dick he is one of the world's leading scholars on the economics of industrial organization and has done pioneering research on the new economics of multisided platforms.
As seen in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Economist. "A must-read business book for ambitious entrepreneurs ... thought-provoking insight into what's behind the exponential growth of the companies in whose footsteps we're following. It's a portal through which to view the economy of the future." -- Daily Telegraph "It's a worthwhile, and short, read for anyone who wonders about the key drivers in different types of business. Knowing what type of business a company is operating is important both for CEOs and investors." -- Forbes "The Rise of the 'Matchmakers' of the Digital Economy" -- The New York Times, DealBook "...measured and analytical..." -- The Wall Street Journal "An economist and entrepreneur and the former Dean of the MIT Sloan School plumb the historical roots and future possibilities of such business models and the economics behind them." -- Forbes, 2016 Summer Books for Creative Leaders "Matchmakers is one of the year's best strategy books... It should be read by both hipster-web designers with a full beard and smooth McKinsey consultants with sharp creases." -- Henrik Orholst, Borsen "The authors explain this ecosystem in engaging prose with ample examples of their theoretical points with practical case studies. Matchmakers introduces complex concepts in an important and expanding area of business and economic development. It is an important and provocative read." -- CHOICE, the publication of the American Library Association ADVANCE PRAISE for Matchmakers: Reed Hastings, founder and CEO, Netflix-- "Matchmakers sheds light on some of the most important businesses driving the global economy. A great read for anyone who wants to better understand how the companies behind the products and services they use every day work." Dan Schulman, President and CEO, PayPal-- "Matchmakers is an insider's look at one of the critical business models of our era--one that only looks easy because the drivers around successful multi- and two-sided networks are anything but self-evident. It's an entertaining read, yet filled with the insights essential for anyone interested in starting or scaling these complex yet powerful businesses." Lawrence H. Summers, Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University; former US Secretary of the Treasury-- "More than the Internet, the sharing economy or automation platform companies and matchmaking markets are defining the new economy. Evans and Schmalensee are pioneers in developing economic theories that explain this new economy. Here they share what they've learned to the great benefit not just of economists, but also of entrepreneurs, policy makers, and consumers." Hikmet Ersek, President and CEO, Western Union-- "Entirely new business models have evolved around the platform, connecting supply and demand, service provider and customer, sender and receiver. Matchmakers captures this phenomenon--the platform ecosystem--in a way that makes this book compelling reading for anyone seeking to understand the role that platforms play in today's economy." Jean Tirole, Chairman, Toulouse School of Economics; Winner, 2014 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences-- "David Evans and Richard Schmalensee are masters at combining strategic analysis and economic theory. Matchmakers is a journey through the strategies of platform businesses, which are central to our economies. Full of stories, fun to read, stimulating, and rigorous, this terrific book is required reading, from the economics and MBA student to the entrepreneur looking at building a platform to any reader curious about how our economy evolves." Bob Solomon, former Senior Vice President, Network and Financial Solutions, Ariba, Inc.-- "Matchmakers will be mandatory for anyone building or investing in multisided platforms--in the cloud or on the ground. It's not only full of great stories like the rise of M-PESA, it's also a practical guide to getting your platform business off the ground. If the people behind Apple Pay had this book to read, maybe they would have started differently." Gary Katz, President and CEO, International Securities Exchange-- "This book provided me, as a cofounder of the International Securities Exchange, with a different lens through which to view my business and industry. This framework would have been a valuable addition to my playbook as my colleagues and I grappled with questions of pricing and building critical mass when we were planning the launch, eighteen years ago, of the first all-electronic options exchange in the United States." Cathy Baron Tamraz, Chairman and CEO, Business Wire-- "The 'matchmaker' is one of the oldest business models, but it's ever more important in today's interconnected, networked world. This deep dive into today's multisided businesses provides a clear, compelling, and entertaining road map for how net platform businesses can blast off and ignite. Bravo!" Praise for Catalyst Code: Bill Gates-- "... an important book for anyone interested in understanding how breakthrough businesses can be built in today's economy." Patrick McGovern, founder and former Chairman, International Data Group-- "Catalyst Code shows that in the Internet Age, the greatest business successes will be based on creating communities in which buyers and sellers are brought together efficiently, rather than making a new product or providing a new service." Peter S. Lynch, Vice Chairman, Fidelity Management & Research Company-- "Evans and Schmalensee reveal the inner workings of what is rapidly becoming a new model for businesses."