Matchmakers

THE MATCHMAKER IS IN

Join Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS, Chip Kahn, the Mayor of Boomtown, and David Evans, co-author of the hot new strategy book, Matchmakers, this Tuesday, May 24, noon EST, for an intense conversation about the dos and don’ts of platform businesses.

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PYMNTS.com has launched a weekly podcast, led by Karen Webster, on what makes or breaks platform businesses in payments, commerce, and many other parts of the economy. She will be joined by David Evans, co-author of the hot new book on platform business — “Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms,” just published by Harvard Business Review Press, and recently featured on The Wall Street Journal Bookshelf and Economist. The book 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.

Every week the Matchmaker Is In will have a leading entrepreneur or investor in platform-based businesses to share their insights on how to best ignite and scale these businesses.

Whether it’s Amazon providing a marketplace for retailers and consumers, Uber connecting drivers to customers or Airbnb identifying available holiday rentals for eager travelers‚ these matchmakers (often called platform businesses) are driving today’s economy.

And, of course, payment networks, connecting senders and receivers of funds, have led the way in providing global digital platforms that move trillions of dollars of commerce. From middle-age players, like SWIFT and Visa, to teens like PayPal, youngsters such as Android Pay, and myriad infant startups, matchmakers are at the heart of the world of payments and commerce.

Platforms are very different from the businesses that have been the staple of economics classes, and they are one of the toughest business models to get right. Just look at the payment platform graveyard, where lies such ballyhooed startups such as Beenz, CurrencyC, Softcard, and several incarnations of Google Wallet.

As an entrepreneur, investor, consumer or partner interacting with these matchmakers, asking the right questions is key to understanding how this complex business model works.

And who better to ask than the entrepreneurs who have gone on the treacherous journey of trying to scale a platform business, and the authors of the hot new “Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms,” which The Wall Street Journal praised for being “measured and analytical.”

Every Tuesday, at noon EST, Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com, hosts a 30-minute conversation with a matchmaker entrepreneur, who’s done it, or maybe tried and failed, and Matchmaker co-author David S. Evans, who has done pioneering work on igniting and growing platform-based businesses.

This Tuesday, May 24, Chip Kahn, the Mayor (and CEO) of Boomtown, a marketplace for empowering neighborhood businesses by connecting them with elite crowdsourced technicians. Chip is a serial entrepreneur who previously founded IPCommerce.

“MATCHMAKERS: THE NEW ECONOMICS OF MULTISIDED PLATFORMS”

Matchmakers uses stories from the trenches, stories of those who created sizzling matchmaker businesses and those who fizzled, to explain the New Economics of Multi-Sided Platforms and the sometimes weird business strategies successful matchmakers use. It is written for everyone because, whether you are an entrepreneur, investor, consumer or executive, your future will involve more and more matchmakers. According to Nobel Prize Winning Economic Jean Tirole, “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, and more generally to any reader who is curious about how our economy evolves.”

David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee helped pioneer the new economics of multi-sided platforms. They have also worked with many leading platform businesses, as well as matchmaker startups. These economists are uniquely able to explain how matchmakers work best in practice, why they do what they do, and why so many entrepreneurs fail to make this business model work.

For more on the book that was recently called “one of the year’s best strategy books,” go to MatchmakerEconomics.com.

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