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Catalyst Code: The Strategies Behind the World's Most Dynamic Companies

David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee

Retail Price: $29.95
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Format: Hardcover, 240pp.
ISBN: 9781422101995
Publisher: Harvard Business School Publishing
Pub. Date: May 9, 2007

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

What do Google, DoCoMo, Sotheby's, and MySpace have in common?

Google has done it with search-based advertising, and Japanese mobile giant NTT DoCoMo did it with iMode. Sotheby's did it more than two centuries ago. MySpace is doing it with GenY.

They all cracked the catalyst code-and they couldn't have done it using traditional business strategies and tactics.

These two-sided businesses generate value by creating simultaneous and mutually beneficial relationships among the different groups of customers they serve. Google brings together advertisers and eyeballs through its search platform. Simon Properties provides a place for retailers and shoppers to transact. So does eBay-but on the Web.

In a book that challenges conventional wisdom about pricing, product design, organization, and incentives, David Evans and Richard Schmalensee provide the first step-by-step framework for launching and sustaining these dynamic businesses. They examine the most successful catalysts or all time, as well as many that tried and failed, and provide original insights into the secrets from early history, modern-day business, and the author's groundbreaking research into what really makes these companies tick.

Rapid advances in communication technologies are making it easier than ever to link diverse groups into catalyst communities around the world. Evans and Schmalensee say that is why two-sided businesses, or catalysts, are today's power brokers-and they are quickly disrupting existing industry ecosystems and gaining unprecedented prominence in the economy.

Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive, or investor, Catalyst Code provides a complete guide to understanding the special dynamics and unique problems that catalysts face-where the pitfalls are, and, most important, how to make the most of the astounding opportunities.


"...an important book for anyone interested in understanding how breakthrough businesses can be built in today s economy."
—Bill Gates

Catalyst Code shows that in the Internet Age, the greatest business successes will be based on creating communities in which buyers and sellers are brought together efficiently, rather than making a new product or providing a new service.
—Patrick McGovern, Founder and Chairman, International Data Group

Evans and Schmalensee reveal the inner workings of what is rapidly becoming a new model for businesses.
—Peter S. Lynch, Vice Chairman, Fidelity Management & Research

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About the Authors

David is a professor at University College London and lecturer at the University of Chicago. The author of more than 80 academic articles, his empirical research on two-sided businesses is cited widely. He is the Founder of Market Platform Dynamics, a strategic consulting firm that helps catalysts develop profitable product, customer and business strategies.

Dick is the Dean of the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA, where he is also a professor of management and economics. A former member of the President s Council of Economic Advisors, Dick is one of the world s leading scholars on the economics of industrial organization. Dick is the Chairman of Market Platform Dynamics and the author of more than 100 academic articles. He has Ph.D. and undergraduate degrees from MIT in economics and lives in Boston.

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