Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms


Live Tuesdays | 12 Noon EST

Hosts: David Evans, economist and author of Matchmakers

Karen Webster, CEO Market Platform Dynamics and

Each week, we’ll take 30 minutes of your time to introduce you to someone who has conquered the toughest business model going – one that makes it easy for two or groups of customers to find each other and transact.
The Matchmaker.

Best Seller in Strategy and Competition


Matchmakers are the hottest business models in business today, but the hardest to get off the ground – just ask any Matchmaker CEO or investor.

Which is exactly what we’ll do weekly.

Our guests will include a leading entrepreneur or investor in a platform based business who will share their insights on how to best ignite and scale these powerfully – but also at times, powerfully frustrating businesses.

That complexity is captured in the brand new Harvard Business School book, Matchmakers, which is based on advisory work Webster has done with Evans and his co-author Dick Schmalensee with leading platforms, and startups, over the last decade.

Shows are live, but will be available 24 hours later here for playback via video or audio podcast.


Some Topics covered on Matchmakers

Physical or virtual platforms

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.

Dramatic advances in technology

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 due to dramatic advances in technology.

A complete analysis

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.

We are all part of it

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

Editorial Reviews

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 era—one 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 phenomenon—the platform ecosystem—in 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 platform to any reader curious about how our economy evolves.”

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