Many of the most dynamic public companies, from Alibaba to Facebook to Visa, and the most valuable start-ups, such as Airbnb and Uber, are matchmakers that connect one group of customers with another group of customers. Economists call matchmakers multisided platforms because they provide physical or virtual platforms for multiple groups to get together. Dating sites connect people with potential matches, for example, and ride-sharing apps do the same for drivers and riders. Although matchmakers have been around for millennia, they're becoming more and more popularand profitabledue to dramatic advances in technology, and a lot of companies that have managed to crack the code of this business model have become today's power brokers.
Don't let the flashy successes fool you, though. Starting a matchmaker is one of the toughest business challenges, and almost everyone who tries to build one, fails.
In Matchmakers , David Evans and Richard Schmalensee, two economists who were among the first to analyze multisided platforms and discover their principles, and who've consulted for some of the most successful platform businesses in the world, explain how matchmakers work best in practice, why they do what they do, and how entrepreneurs can improve their chances for success.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, an investor, a consumer, or an executive, your future will involve more and more multisided platforms, and Matchmakers rich with stories from platform winners and losersis the one book you'll need in order to navigate this appealing but confusing world.
"If you ever wanted to make your own 'Facebook' or 'Uber'-style company, this book will show you the principles and struggles of businesses that are changing the world at an astonishing rate." -- Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com) 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 Ørholst, Børsen
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 eraone 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 phenomenonthe platform ecosystemin 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 platfor
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.