“How to Launch Your Digital Platform”

For online platform businesses, customer mobilization challenges loom large. The most successful platforms connect two or more types of users — buyers and sellers on a shopping portal, travelers and hotel operators on a booking service — and a strong launch usually requires convincing early users to join even before the platform reaches scale.

For example, customers find Skype worth installing only if there are people on the platform to talk to.

For multisided platforms, the risk is even greater. It’s not enough for a ride-shari.....

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