An inside look at the revolutionary business power of the platform―from the experts who helped discover how it works.

“An authoritative guide to the role of online platforms: what they are, how they work, and what they mean for business and economics. Platform Revolution demystifies the concept by providing clear prose, insightful examples, and practical lessons.”
— Hal Varian, chief economist, Google, and author of Information Rules
Platform Revolution Book Cover

How networked markets are transforming the economy and how to make them work for you.

Facebook, PayPal, Alibaba, Uber―these seemingly disparate companies have upended entire industries by harnessing a single phenomenon: the platform business model. Platform Revolution delivers the first comprehensive analysis of how platforms use technology to match producers and consumers in a multisided marketplace, unlocking hidden resources and creating new forms of value. When a company like Uber connects drivers with passengers, everybody wins― except traditional cab companies, which are scrambling to survive. Assumptions about operations, finance, strategy, and innovation all change. Platform Revolution explores the what, how, and why of this revolution and provides the first “owner’s manual” for creating a platform marketplace. Revealing the strategies behind some of today’s rising platforms, the authors explain how entrepreneurs―and traditional companies― can thrive in this new world. In cases as diverse as shoes, spices, dating, energy, home appliances, and education, Platform Revolution provides the essential guide to unlocking the potential of an economic landscape transformed.

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About the Authors

Sangeet Choudary, Geoff Parker, and Marshall Van Alstyne

Geoffrey G. Parker is a professor of engineering at Dartmouth College and a visiting scholar and research fellow at the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy. Parker has contributed to industrial organization economics as co-developer of the theory of “two-sided” markets. He studies distributed innovation, business platform strategy, and the integration of distributed and renewable energy resources. The National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and numerous corporations have supported his research. Parker advises senior leaders and is a frequent speaker at academic conferences and industry events. He received his B.S. from Princeton and his M.S. and Ph.D. from MIT. Marshall W. Van Alstyne is a professor of Information Economics at Boston University and Chair of the Department of Information Systems. He has made fundamental contributions to the theory of “two-sided” networks and IT productivity. In addition, he holds patents in information processing theory and in spam prevention mechanisms. His research has been honored with six best paper awards and National Science Foundation IOC, SGER, iCORPS, SBIR, and Career Awards. Van Alstyne is a C-suite adviser, frequent keynote speaker, and former entrepreneur. He received his B.A. from Yale and his M.S. and Ph.D. from MIT. Sangeet Paul Choudary is the Founder and CEO of Platform Thinking Labs. He is also the co-chair of the MIT Platform Strategy Group at MIT Media Labs, Boston, an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD Business School, a Global Fellow at the Centre for Global Enterprisein New York, a speaker at the G20 Summit 2014 in Brisbane and an advisor at 500Startups in Silicon Valley.