Platform Innovation // Blog

Platform Innovation™ Weekly Round Up – May 23

Here’s what we’ve been reading this week.

1. The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World http://goo.gl/9EgHSn

Check out this list of ten algorithms that have had a huge effect over the last decade — note that half of them involve platforms. Algorithms play a big role in enabling platforms to match consumers and producers much more efficiently than ever before.

2. How Airbnb used data to propel its growth to a $10B valuation http://goo.gl/ydcH8m

Airbnb’s head of data science, Riley Newman, spoke at DataBeat 2014 this week on how Airbnb uses data to improve its ability to facilitate transactions:

As a marketplace, search is at the heart of Airbnb’s matching. Careful tuning of this engine is a critical driver to accelerating growth and delighting customers. However, in the beginning, Airbnb didn’t know what kind of guidance to give customers. So they started with a simple solution, returning ‘the highest quality set of listings within a certain radius from the center of wherever someone searched.’ Then, as more people came to use the site, Airbnb acquired more data. Eventually they found that by substituting their initial model with a user-data driven one, they were able to see an increase in customer bookings and satisfaction.

Check out the post for more examples of how Airbnb makes use of data to drive its growth.

3. The rise of the ‘Uberized economy’ and what it means for business http://goo.gl/rnJqpU

The co-founder of a San Francisco-based platform startup looks at how the latest generation of services platforms have evolved from earlier iterations. He points out that the latest generation of these platforms have shifted from a horizontal focus (think Craiglist and TaskRabbit) to a narrower focus on specific industries. He also talks about the benefits platform businesses bring to consumers: “One of the major themes these new labor marketplace share is their ability to provide access to services that would otherwise be too expensive or inconvenient to procure consistently.”

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