Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms
Interview with Richard SchmalenseeMarch 6, 2018
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About Richard Schmalensee
Richard Schmalensee is Howard W. Johnson Professor of Economics and Management, Emeritus at MIT. He has served as a member of the MIT Energy Council and was Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research for 12 years. He served as the John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1998 through 2007. He was the Member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers with primary responsibility for energy and environmental policy from 1989 through 1991. Professor Schmalensee has published 11 books and more than 120 articles; his work focuses on industrial organization economics and its policy applications, with a recent focus on energy and environmental policy. He was co-chair of the MIT Energy Initiative study The Future of the Electric Grid and chair of the The Future of Solar Energy. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a Director of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Chairman of the Board of Resources for the Future.
Matchmakers have been around since the dawn of time, but in recent years they have turbocharged their business growth leveraging all the latest technologies.
Matchmakers, marketplace operators or platform developers are all focused on connecting demand with supply, offering access to two groups and often subsidizing one to ignite the business. OpenTable, Uber, Amazon Marketplace, GrubHub are just some of these successful matchmakers.
Richard Schmalensee and David S. Evands, authors of Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms, give a systematic account of multisided markets with a thorough explanation of deeply rooted historic origins where appropriate. In this easy-to-read book, the two distinguished economic advisers compile several examples of successful marketplace operators to illustrate how startups can learn from these businesses and boost their own chances of success.
- How do traditional and matchmaking business models differ?
- What is the deep rooted history of multisided business models?
- How can new startups learn from successful multisided platforms?
- Why is it difficult to launch a multi-sided platform business?
- How can entrepreneurs overcome the challenge of building critical mass?
- How can startups ignite the business by reducing market friction?
- What is the Zigzag strategy and how do dating sites, search engines and video games leverage it?
- How can singlesided management build a multisided platform?
- Which are the fundamentals that have endured over thousands of years and are now powered by technology and innovation that make the matchmaking business more scalable?