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BUS 82 — Building, Scaling, and Managing Digital Marketplaces

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Feb 9—Mar 16
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Feb 11
Unit: 1
Tuition: $470
Instructor(s): Rob Mihalko
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Feb 9—Mar 16
6 weeks
Drop By
Feb 11
1 Unit
Rob Mihalko
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
The role of a marketplace is to bring multiple parties together to a common location for the purpose of interacting, exchanging information, or conducting a transaction. The digital marketplace has become one of the most important models in business today, transforming numerous industries, such as vacation rentals (Airbnb) or collectibles (eBay), and enabling companies such as Amazon, Salesforce, and Uber to achieve unprecedented success. A digital marketplace can exist either as a stand-alone business or as a complement to a traditional business. However, building and profitably growing a digital marketplace is notoriously difficult. Many have difficulty gaining critical mass, establishing a compelling value proposition for all of their participants, or monetizing without negatively impacting growth. For example, how does a digital marketplace attract buyers with few sellers, or vice versa? How does it generate sufficient activity to keep its participants engaged? And who should pay for its offering: buyers, sellers, or both? This course is for entrepreneurs, general managers, product managers, and investors looking to increase their understanding of the basic concepts of a digital marketplace: design, launch strategies, growth levers, monetization strategies, operational requirements, and ethical considerations, among others. In-class activity will include active participation in discussing case study examples and exploring literature related to this increasingly dynamic business topic.

Rob Mihalko, Founder and Principal, Spectus Strategy

Rob Mihalko is a strategy and marketing executive with over twenty years of management experience with both leading technology companies and startups. He advises companies on marketplace strategy and execution, and led the growth efforts for Ariba Network as a global vice president for SAP Ariba. Mihalko received an MBA from Northwestern.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Juho Makkonen, Cristóbal Gracia, Janne Koivistoinen, The Lean Marketplace: a Practical Guide to Building a Successful Online Marketplace Business (ISBN 978-9529400089)
(Required) Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary, Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You (ISBN 978-0393354355)