Enroll now to join this live cohort based course led by Andrei Hagiu
BUILDING AND MANAGING
NETWORK EFFECT BUSINESSES
Learn how to evaluate and build network effects into existing businesses, and how to grow existing network effects through the right design choices.
4 x 2 hr sessions
4pm PST; September 12, 14, 19 & 21
Early Bird Price: $700 (expense through L&D)
Designed to expand your expertise in building and managing
Businesses with Network Effects
Managers, Engineers and Executives
Product managers, software engineers and strategy executives at technology companies and startups will learn:
Strategies for transforming regular products into platforms with network effects, or for expanding the network effects of existing platforms
Business metrics for assessing the progress and defensibility of a product’s or platform’s network effects
Design tactics for strengthening network effects and enhancing defensibility
Start-up founders and their teams who are building network effects businesses will learn:
What are the factors that determine the defensibility of the network effects their business is attempting to leverage?
How to best frame the competitive advantage of their business in order to attract investors?
What key metrics to look at in order to judge the progress of their network effects?
Angel investors, venture capitalists, and public market investors will learn:
How to evaluate the defensibility and upside potential of marketplaces or SaaS, AI and web3.0 businesses that leverage network effects
How to evaluate the potential of a regular product or service to become a platform with network effects
What key metrics to ask for in order to evaluate network effects businesses
Join a live AMA with the instructors
and get your questions answered
Andrei Hagiu is a leading expert on platform businesses and network effects.
He has published dozens of professional economics articles, nine Harvard Business Review articles, and a Substack newsletter, all focused on various aspects of platform strategy. He is also an active angel investor in platform businesses, having invested in hundreds of startups (including Calm, Discord, Grin, OpenSea, and Papa) and provided advice to many.
Andrei has taught MBA and executive education courses on platform strategy at HBS, MIT and Boston University for over 15 years. He has also consulted with ADP, Equifax, Hearst and Intuit – all on the topic of how to transform products into platforms.
What you get out of
Platform businesses leveraging network effects have become the most powerful businesses in the world. Indeed, today they include many of the world’s most valuable companies. Not surprisingly, there are thousands of early-stage startups attempting to leverage network effects in order to become the next Airbnb, Alibaba, Facebook, Google or Uber. Meanwhile, many established companies are attempting to transform their products or services into platforms with network effects, or to expand their existing network effects. A few of these projects will succeed and most will fail. Partly because of poor execution, and partly because of unrealistic claims and expectations about the defensibility that network effects can create for their specific businesses.
Participants in this course will learn how to articulate strategies for building network effects around existing products or services, and how to enhance existing network effects:
What separates network effects that can support defensible businesses from those that do not?
What are the key metrics to look at when evaluating and managing businesses with network effects?
What are the common pitfalls to avoid when transforming products into platforms with network effects?
To answer these questions, we will leverage economics concepts and frameworks that we have developed during our over 20 years of research on platform businesses, and that we use extensively in our own consulting and angel investing activities. We will apply these frameworks to discuss a wide range of startups and mature tech firms.
Session 1 – Network effects and defensibility
What are the various types of network effects?
What factors determine whether they are strong/weak and whether they create defensible moats?
How can network effects be enhanced by product design?
Session 2 – Transforming products or services into platforms with network effects
There are three methods for turning products into platforms:
(1) opening the door to 3rd parties
(2) connecting customers
(3) reaching out to customers’ customers.
What are the key decisions involved in making each of these three methods work?
Session 3 – Transforming products or services into platforms with network effects
What are the key pitfalls to be mindful of when executing each of the three methods for transforming products into platforms?
Should the resulting platform business model be closer to a marketplace or closer to a retailer?
What are the key factors that determine whether a given product/services is a good candidate for becoming a platform with network effects?
Session 4 – Managing and growing network effects businesses
What are the key metrics to focus on when growing network effect businesses, and how do they differ based on the stage of the business?
What are the best practices when it comes to pricing, design and governance of network effects businesses?
What are the common pitfalls to avoid when scaling businesses with network effects?
What are the most important future trends for network effects businesses?
Session 5 – Managing network effects and the future
How to prevent leakage, i.e. participants meeting on the platform but taking their transactions off the platform
How much centralized control to exert on transactions between platform participants?
What are the challenges/opportunities created for network effects businesses by the emergence of web3 and big-tech regulation?