Category "Business Strategy"

Are you a Platform?

What’s the hottest trend in business right now? Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter? Sharing economy apps such as Uber and Airbnb? Apple, and its line of personal computing devices? Or Software as a Service for the enterprise, such as Salesforce?

You could probably make a case for any one of these, but here’s the thing: Although on the surface these companies appear to have completely different business models, they all share one very powerful component: a scalable online platform connecting people and ecosystems.

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Evolving from a software company to platform company, partnerships are key

Back in 2011, Marc Andreesen penned his now famous essay, “Why Software Is Eating The World,” outlining the coming economic shift in which software companies take over large segments of the economy.

Gartner in 2012 predicted that “The Nexus of Forces”—mobile, social, cloud and information–would give rise to “entirely new possibilities and creative business endeavors.”

Five years in, we’re seeing that take shape with the rise of platform businesses and market places such as Uber, Airbnb and Amazon.

Solving problems with software

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Why my startup said goodbye to 1,200 paying customers

In the life of every successful company, there comes a pivotal moment early on where the fledgling company has to scale. You’ve built a product, and on boarded some early customers. Things are humming along and you’re poised for growth.

This is actually a precarious time. Will your company be able to handle the increased workload that comes with growth without breaking and while maintaining profitability? Probably not without making some very difficult decisions. The first and most painful may be kissing some part of your product line–and the revenue it generates–goodbye.

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Making the Platform Economy Big and Hard to Miss

“Why did WePay wrap a train car?”

I’ve been getting that question a lot lately. Actually we wrapped two Caltrain cars that shuttle daily between San Francisco and San Jose. Maybe you’ve seen one of them –they’re big and blue and bearing the logos of WePay and our customers.

This is one element of a campaign to start a conversation about the rapidly emerging platform economy. Business platforms such as eBay, Uber, Etsy, Airbnb –sometimes also called multi-sided marketplaces–are transforming the economy. Many of our customers are part of this movement.

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Payments: The last mile of online customer intimacy

When it comes to online commerce, the point at which money changes hands has often been the moment a sale falls apart. What was a carefully crafted brand experience becomes off-putting and complicated. There are confusing redirects, forms that clash with the rest of the design, and a lot of sensitive data that needs to be entered.

But that’s now changing, and fast. Innovative companies have stepped up their game, using technologies that make a much easier payment experience possible. That in turn is changing consumer expectations about what a payment transaction should be like. You now need to bring your payments experience up to this new standard, or risk getting beaten by competitors who do.

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