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Publisher's Summary

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 popular - and profitable - due 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 losers - is the one book you'll need in order to navigate this appealing but confusing world.

Cover design by Stephani Finks.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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  • Mother of Chickens
  • 13-10-2016

Great complement to Platform Revolution

I found Matchmakers to be a great compliment to Platform Revolution -- raising a number of distinct concepts and analogies that I found insightful and useful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Dean Matthews
  • 09-09-2016

Compelling version of the platform revolution

If you're going to spend your money, send it on the platform revolution -

a much more thorough undertaking.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Oscar R. Moll
  • 24-08-2018

Concise and full of examples

The examples of matchmakers range from old and new and from successes to failures to brown outs of platforms. I especially learned from the parts on Alibaba and the lack of an Alibaba equivalent in the US, Wex card, Apple pay, Mpesa and Western Union and traditional shopping malls. By the end of the book you get a feeling that these types of organizations have always been the stem upon which more traditional single sided businesses are built, yet the archetype you get of a business in popular culture is single sided.
Helpfully, the authors summarize their thinking in the form of 6 dimensions that define a platform: who are the different sides and what's in it for them, how will the platform enable interaction, how will it set prices and subsidies and how itself will profit, what standards and regulations will it enforce between sides, what external dependencies does it have on a larger ecosystem, and how will it attain critical mass.

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  • Carl Jaramillo
  • 18-10-2017

Great.Academic not so applicable for entrepreneurs

Overall extremely well researched. As an academic overthrow its excellent. not highly actionable if you're an entrepreneur

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  • Dan Collins
  • 07-07-2017

Great for the Technologically Challenged

If you are one of those people who just do not get technology, but are smart enough to know you need to change that, then this is the PERFECT book for you. The author goes to great lengths to explain what is "new" about platforms and why you should be much more familiar with the concept than you might feel.

This book is also a good tool to help computer engineers like me make my business users better technology consumers.

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  • David K
  • 27-04-2017

validating and informative

before reading we incurred some challenges. And had to do some mid course corrections. This book validated our decisions, and also provided insight and guidance on other issues and challenges we needed to address.

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  • DayDreamer
  • 06-02-2017

Pretty repetitive

Most of the book repetition of few good points again and again. After few chapters it did not sustain interest. Also the performance is pretty robotic.

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  • Damian Wolfgram
  • 22-12-2016

The Platform Revolution is a 100x better than this book

In a world where The Platform Revolution doesn't exist Matchmakers is a passable book, but it feels like a book report with a great deal of softness. The real value of understanding marketplaces come from nuance and specific details that the author not only glosses over but likely doesn't understand.

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  • Doug Landrith
  • 10-11-2016

Dry but fascinating

multi platform is not new. This book looks at the history and application of multiple businesses and their models. Not a page turner, but a steady read.

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  • peter
  • 29-10-2016

Good analysis of marketplaces

Not as good as other books in getting in behind the facade of how multi sided platforms take off, such as platform revolution or the house that jack built.
Reads more like a text book.
Chapter on subsidies was good.

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  • Xcusemeplease
  • 14-01-2018

It's okay, just

Repetitive message, made worse by overdramatic narration. While some of the case studies are interesting, in general this book could have been summarised in one chapter

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  • Carsten
  • 05-08-2016

Excellent book

This book provides an excellent and precise analysis of multi-sided platform innovation. I will highly recommend it for executives to understand the fundamentals of this powerful development.

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  • Mr. V. Mavadia
  • 05-07-2016

A must read for the modern tech entrepreneur

Nicely combines economic theory, case studies , risk strategy and common sense in a few hours.
It's up there with the work from Carlota Perez and other platform literature.
Written by two very smart guys!