"Friction is key to understanding whether an entrepreneur even has a hope of starting a viable multisided platform business. The reduction of substantial friction is a necessary condition, but not a sufficient condition, for a multisided platform to succeed.Retirado de "Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms" de David S. Evans e Richard Schmalensee.
A regular business has to make sure that its customers are getting good value—that what they get is worth more than what they pay. And it has to ensure that it is making a profit—that the revenue it gets covers its costs and delivers a good rate of return for the business and its investors. It has to divide the value pie between itself and its customers so both it and its customers are happy.
A multisided business has a far more difficult problem. It has to make sure that not only do members of each of its customer groups get enough value to want to participate, but that enough of them participate to make members of each of the other customer groups want to participate as well—to generate the positive network or feedback effects that matchmakers need to survive and grow. Sometimes doing that requires giving such a large slice of the total value to one group that the platform doesn’t make money from them.
A multisided platform has to make sure that the value pie is big enough to give every group a large enough slice to convince them to stay, and to leave itself enough to cover its costs and provide a good rate of return. All else equal, the bigger the pie, the more likely there are large enough slices to make everyone happy.
Fundamentally, multisided platforms create value by reducing frictions. They are more valuable in total to all parties the more important the frictions they address are, and the greater their success at reducing them.
An entrepreneur considering whether to start a multisided platform must consider what friction that platform would address, how much of the friction it could eliminate, how much value doing so would create, and whether that is enough to ignite a sustainable and profitable business. Anyone, from investors to suppliers to customers, who is taking a risk with a multisided start-up, should analyze these same issues to predict whether the platform could succeed."