Platform Thinking & Startup Ideas“Match an unmonetized/unvaluedsurplus with an unsatisfied scarcity” Sangeet Paul, - Platform Junkiee
Definition● Unmonetized/unvalued surplus: This implies that there is some form of surplus which cannot be monetized at the moment. However, given the opportunity, the owners would want to monetize it. A similar dynamic exists for surplus that isn’t currently valued by an audience/market (e.g. a person’s creativity)● Unsatisfied scarcity: The second important factor is scarcity. More specifically, scarcity that isn’t currently optimally satisfied. There might be solutions to the scarcity but none of them are optimal enough
ExampleAirBnB YouTubeA surplus of accommodation A surplus of niche creativityin a particular location during MEETa certain time period A scarcity of nicheMEET entertainmentA scarcity of accommodationin that same location duringthe same time period
Approach to solve problem● Stuff Approach Create More Stuff● Optimization Approach Aggregate all the information on the stuff out there Leverage algorithms to optimally match the right stuff with a consumer’s desire● Platform Approach create more inventory without creating more stuff
Essence● The ‘stuff’ approach: How can we create more stuff whenever the problem crops up?● The ‘optimization’ approach: How can we better distribute the stuff already created to minimize waste?● The ‘platform’ approach: How can we redefine ‘stuff’ and find new ways of solving the same problem?
Example (AirBnB) ACCOMMODATION PROBLEM Problem: I’m traveling to city X and I need to end myself some accommodation● The ‘stuff’ approach (Sheraton): Create more hotels/room● The ‘optimization’ approach (Agoda): build review sites to help make the right decision.● The ‘platform’ approach (AirBnB): How can we redefine travelers’ accommodation? How about enabling anyone with a spare room and mattress to run their own BnB?
Example Again (Twitter) NEWS PROBLEM Problem: I need to know about what’s happening around the world● The ‘stuff’ approach (NY Times): Hire more journalists, get more news● The ‘optimization’ approach (Google News): Rank news stories and serve readers with the matches closest to what they’re looking for.● The ‘platform’ approach (Twitter): Redefine the journalist. Everyone can create and distribute news now.