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BUS 82 — Building, Scaling, and Managing Digital Marketplaces

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 24—Mar 14
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 26
Unit: 1
Tuition: $580
Instructor(s): Rob Mihalko
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Jan 24—Mar 14
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 26
1 Unit
Rob Mihalko
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The role of a marketplace is to bring multiple parties together to a common location for the purpose of interacting, exchanging information, and ultimately conducting a transaction. The digital marketplace has become one of the most important models in business today, transforming numerous industries, such as vacation travel (Airbnb) and collectibles (eBay), and enabling companies such as Amazon, DoorDash, and Uber to achieve unprecedented levels of 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 one 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, product managers, strategic planners, investors, and anyone looking to increase their understanding of the basic concepts of digital marketplaces: marketplace strategy and design, launch strategies, growth levers, monetization strategies, operational requirements, policies and governance, stakeholder management, and ethical considerations. In-class activities will include discussing case study examples, hearing from guest speakers, and exploring the leading thought leadership related to this increasingly dynamic business topic.

Founder and Principal, Spectus Strategy

Rob Mihalko is a strategy and marketing executive with more than 15 years of management experience with digital marketplaces. He advises technology companies and investment firms across a range of strategy and operations topics related to digital marketplaces. He led growth for several marketplace businesses, including Ariba Network as global vice president at SAP Ariba. Mihalko received an MBA from Northwestern.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Parker, Van Alstyne, Choudary, Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy―and How to Make Them Work for You (ISBN 978-0393354355)
(Required)Makkonen, Gracia & Koivistoinen , The Lean Marketplace: a Practical Guide to Building a Successful Online Marketplace Business (ISBN 978-9529400089)
(Required) Brad Stone, The Upstarts: Uber, Airbnb, and the Battle for the New Silicon Valley (ISBN 978-0316388412 )