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Making a Marketplace: A Checklist for Online Disruption

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On November 13, 2012, Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital, posted a remarkable essay on his blog. In it, he described the, “10 factors to consider when evaluating digital marketplaces.” Given the tremendous value marketplaces are known to create and how hard they are to get right, we found this essay to be a goldmine of insight. We wanted to digest Bill’s post into a more memorable format. \nThe result is this brief checklist we hope will help take some of the luck out of evaluating marketplace businesses. As Bill wrote, “It is unlikely that you will find a marketplace opportunity that would score ten out of ten with respect to this list.” But according to Bill, the odds of success improve the more of these characteristics the business exhibits. \nRead Bill Gurley’s original post here: http://goo.gl/xoAUw \n- Nir (nirandfar.com) and Sangeet (platformed.info)

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making a marketplace

MAKING A MARKETPLACE

A C H E C K L I S T F O R O N L I N E D I S R U P T I O N

inspired by @bgurley

by @nireyal and @sanguit

on november 13 2012 bill gurley a partner

On November 13, 2012, Bill Gurley, a partner at Benchmark Capital, posted a remarkable essay

on his blog. In it, he described the, “10 factors to consider when evaluating digital

marketplaces.” Given the tremendous value marketplaces are known to create and how hard

they are to get right, we found this essay to be a goldmine of insight. We wanted to digest

Bill’s post into a more memorable format.

The result is this brief checklist we hope will help take some of the luck out of evaluating

marketplace businesses. As Bill wrote, “It is unlikely that you will fnd a marketplace

opportunity that would score ten out of ten with respect to this list.” But according to Bill, the

odds of success improve the more of these characteristics the business exhibits.

- Nir and Sangeet

Read Bill Gurley’s original post here: http://goo.gl/xoAUw

1 does your marketplace make a behavior

1. Does your marketplace

make a behavior dramatically

easier and more efcient?

alibaba made transactions between us importers

Alibaba

Made transactions between US importers and

Chinese manufacturers dramatically easier than the

previous methods of fnding suppliers.

2 does your marketplace produce more value than

2. Does your marketplace

produce more value than

current markets?

airbnb allows anyone to run their own hotel room

AirBnB

Allows anyone to run their own hotel. Room

owners proft from renting out unused rooms

while guests benefts from lower prices.

3 does your marketplace utilize a new technology

3. Does your marketplace

utilize a new technology to

create efciencies?

opentable leveraged adoption of high speed

OpenTable

Leveraged adoption of high-speed internet access

by both restaurants and consumers to create a web-

based reservation platform.

4 does your marketplace consolidate a fragmented

4. Does your marketplace

consolidate a fragmented

market?

kickstarter connects entrepreneurs with f nancial

Kickstarter

Connects entrepreneurs with fnancial backers who

want to see projects succeed. Both sides of the market

are fragmented with no dominant players.

5 does your marketplace make it easy

5. Does your marketplace

make it easy for suppliers to

sign-up?

etsy makes it very simple to sell handcrafted

Etsy

Makes it very simple to sell handcrafted goods

in minutes.

6 does your marketplace serve a large market

6. Does your marketplace

serve a large market?

ebay serves a very large market of online buyers

eBay

Serves a very large market of online buyers and

sellers for just about anything.

7 can your marketplace bring in unserved

7. Can your marketplace

bring in unserved customers and

expand the market?

odesk expanded the market for software

oDesk

Expanded the market for software outsourcing by

making it simple enough for anyone to use.

Photo Credit: racheocity

8 does your marketplace serve a frequent need

8. Does your marketplace

serve a frequent need?

grubhub serves a frequent need for many

GrubHub

Serves a frequent need for many ofce workers,

ordering daily food delivery.

9 does your marketplace control the transaction

9. Does your marketplace

control the transaction?

uber is at the center of the payment f ow when

Uber

Is at the center of the payment fow when it

coordinates a ride between a driver and rider.

10 does your marketplace leverage a network

10. Does your marketplace

leverage a network efect?

youtube is more valuable with each new video

YouTube

Is more valuable with each new video published to

the site. The more videos posted, the more

important the site becomes to viewers.

good luck we wish you success making your

Good luck

We wish you success making your marketplace.

// @nireyal blogging at: nirandfar.com

// @sanguit blogging at: platformed.info

Read Bill Gurley’s original post here: http://goo.gl/xoAUw

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