Trade in Yours
For a £0.41 Gift Card
Trade in
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Tell the Publisher!
I’d like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

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

David Evans , Richard Schmalensee
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Available from these sellers.


Trade In this Item for up to £0.41
Trade in Catalyst Code: The Strategies Behind the World's Most Dynamic Companies for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £0.41, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

1 May 2007
In an economy where markets, consumers, and technology are ever-changing and increasingly interdependent, economic catalysts – businesses that bring together a number of groups who need each other and make it easy for them to work together – are essential. Think of the credit card industry. This trillion dollar industry brings merchants and consumers together. Google creates value for its customers, and makes billions for itself, by bringing searchers and advertisers together.

Companies that do this right – and transform their pricing practices, incentive plans, and organizational structures – are today's power brokers. Of course, catalysts have been around as long as marketplaces. But now, more than ever, they drive the economy. Doing business in this world isn’t for the faint of heart – but Catalyst Code maps it out, showing where the opportunities – and pitfalls – lie.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1422101991
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422101995
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 16.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,174,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

From the Publisher

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

From the Back Cover

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.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

Customer Reviews

4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
5.0 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Everyone's keen to know the secrets of successful, fast-growing companies. In response, David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee look at new ways to bring buyers and sellers together. Companies that act as catalysts combine opportunism, customer service and savvy pricing to create a profitable, flexible business model by assembling audiences, cutting costs or connecting other companies. The authors offer plenty of concrete examples of these strategic combinations - from Diners Club and American Express to Microsoft and Google. Perhaps the one weak point in their theory is that the borders between catalysts and noncatalysts are a bit fuzzy. (A supermarket isn't a catalyst, but a mall is.) We recommend this interesting, strategic analysis to managers seeking a thought-provoking look at how to create new, enticing and profitable links.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely shifts the way you view business models... 3 Jun 2007
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Companies like Google and eBay have business models that are touted as "revolutionary". But the same concepts allowed businesses like Diners Club and Sotheby's to change the business landscape many years ago. That "something" is explored in Catalyst Code: The Strategies Behind the World's Most Dynamic Companies by David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee. Once I had the concept of a two-sided business explained to me, a lot of things started to click...

Contents:

What Is a Catalyst; Build a Catalyst Strategy; Identify the Catalyst Community; Establish a Pricing Structure; Focus on Profitability; Compete Strategically with Other Catalysts; Experiment and Evolve; Cracking the Catalyst Code; Additional Readings; Notes; Index; About the Authors

The catalyst spoken of in the book involves bringing together two groups of people who have complementary needs but no way to meet those needs without a common ground. For instance, Diners Club allowed customers to dine out now and pay later. Restaurants who took Diners Club knew they would attract cardholders and have a guarantee of payment. The trick was that Diners Club had to convince cardholders that there were enough outlets in which to use the card, while convincing outlets that there were enough customers to make it worth their time. The companies that can create and grow these catalysts stand to capture a large market following. A more modern example is eBay. They were the most successful at providing an electronic marketplace bringing together buyers and sellers without the confines of geography or quantity of product. By making the service free for buyers, eBay was able to attract potential customers for sellers. Sellers are willing to pay the transaction fees in order to get access to that buyer group. Evans and Schmalensee do an excellent job in examining this type of business model, and they open your eyes to a different way of looking at companies.

Once you understand the concept of two-sided businesses, it's tempting to start labeling *all* businesses as two-sided. For instance, stores are bringing together producers and customers. But there are market forces that come into play, and the authors do help you differentiate between traditional one-sided businesses and actual two-sided models. I also had a bit of trouble at first accepting software companies as two-sided businesses. But after some thought, I can see how a company like Microsoft would be a two-sided business with their Windows operating system. The platform provides a way for developers to build software that conforms to a agreed-upon standard, and for customers to buy software that will run on their computers. It also explains how a newer two-sided model (Linux) can threaten Microsoft and render their current advantage obsolete.

I enjoyed reading this book, and would recommend it to anyone studying how businesses work. I'd also recommend it to anyone looking to replicate the success of stories like MySpace. You'll be able to avoid some common errors and increase your chances of succeeding.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Refinement of Previous Themes 2 Nov 2007
By James D. Sanger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
For the many who read Evans and Schmalensee's previous collaboration, Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries, Catalyst Code offers both some expected elements and some new angles. Like in Invisible Engines, Evans and Schmalensee continue to treat themes relating "multi-sided" or "platform" businesses. Multi-sided or platform companies -- relabeled "catalyst" companies in this book -- are those that build businesses based on complex intersections of interests among various constituencies of third parties (partners, suppliers, customers). However, in Catalyst Code, while Evans and Schmalensee continue to describe some platform companies that involve the selling of software, the main focus of the book expands beyond software platforms to the broader application of disruptive multi-sided business models in various market contexts.

Even though I really enjoyed the dedicated focus on software platforms in Invisible Engines, I think that Catalyst Code benefits from the shift in emphasis to the broader thinking involved in crafting, implementing and extending "catalyst" business strategies. In some ways, Catalyst Code is less descriptive and more prescriptive in tone than Invisible Engines; I think that it is also a more immediately practical work for those who might want to consider applying some "catalyst" strategies in their own businesses.

Still, in a strange way, I must say that Catalyst Code was, at least for me, a less satisfying book than Invisible Engines. And I think that this is a good thing. At the conclusion of Invisible Engines, I think that one is apt to get the feeling, "well said: case closed." It's a book with a carefully laid-out thesis and ample examples of software platform companies that fit the model hypothesis. Indeed, Invisible Engines feels like a comprehensive survey of a common, though perhaps not previously well-highlighted, business phenomenon within the software industry.

On the other hand, Catalyst Code left me strangely discomfited and full of the kind of questions that one wants to have after reading a good book on corporate strategy. Questions like: which present generation Internet-oriented companies are really better catalyst companies (i.e., Microsoft vs Google), and which might be in the future (MySpace vs Facebook, Yahoo vs Wikipedia, eBay vs a re-invigorated Apple)? And beyond these questions, one can't help but ponder others about how trust (brand), style (marketing), and the right choice of community participants (who is included or excluded) might ultimately impact the business success, reputation, or longevity of various catalyst players. Provocative stuff.

In an age when Microsoft is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to purchase a miniscule stake in Facebook, I think Catalyst Code serves as a great gloss to the nightly business news. Perhaps it is that immediate relevance that makes the book so thought provocative. I found it a fun read for a serious business book.

On a final note, Catalyst Code is a deceptively quick read (at least much quicker than Invisible Engines). I'm probably not the world's fastest reader, and I still managed to finish Catalyst Code over three or four good nights of reading. The prose is very crisp, something too often lacking in many other business books these days.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new way of looking at businesses. 5 Aug 2007
By Stuart King - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book describes what it calls 'two-sided businesses', which to quote from the front jacket '... generate value by creating simultaneous and mutually beneficial relationships between the different groups of customers they serve'. The book opens with the example of Diners Club which creates value for the following two groups of customers:

1. Restaurants
2. Diners.

In this case, Diners Club allows diners to eat at many restaurants on credit without having to establish a credit relationship with each individual restaurant (assuming the restaurants are willing to offer them credit). The diners benefit from the credit they receive, and the restaurants benefit by getting more diners who spend more and by avoiding the hassle and expense of managing credit relationships with individual diners.

The book is easy to read (no jargon) and provides numerous and familiar examples. It may not astonish you with any earth-shattering insights (that's why I didn't give it five stars), but it will make you look at 'two-sided businesses' in a new way.

This book is a must-have if you are involved with or competing against 'two-sided businesses', and will probably be useful to anyone involved with business generally.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strategy book for multi-sided businesses 17 Jun 2007
By Marwan Forzley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Catalyst Code provides a way of thinking for businesses that are double/multisided in nature. This book gives a framework for building, analyzing, understanding, governing and managing multisided businesses (i.e., businesses with two or more groups that need each other). Case studies from different industries are provided (e.g., eBay, Google, Credit cards, shopping malls, dating services, magazines, Craigslist, etc.), with each case shedding light on the various components of the framework.

Catalyst Code describes the hard work and constant calibration required to build and grow a catalyst. Entrepreneurs, executives, managers and investors can benefit from the insights this book brings into the forces and dynamics that shape successful catalysts.

I find the book particularly interesting for those of us who are in the process of building catalysts. It is readily applicable to the day-to-day challenges we face. The ability to capture such a complex topic in a simple, easy to read and easy to understand framework is invaluable.

Catalyst Code is an excellent reference for multi-sided, complex and volume based businesses.

Marwan Forzley
5.0 out of 5 stars A multi-sided strategic approach to doing business 18 Jan 2008
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Everyone's keen to know the secrets of successful, fast-growing companies. In response, David S. Evans and Richard Schmalensee look at new ways to bring buyers and sellers together. Companies that act as catalysts combine opportunism, customer service and savvy pricing to create a profitable, flexible business model by assembling audiences, cutting costs or connecting other companies. The authors offer plenty of concrete examples of these strategic combinations - from Diners Club and American Express to Microsoft and Google. Perhaps the one weak point in their theory is that the borders between catalysts and noncatalysts are a bit fuzzy. (A supermarket isn't a catalyst, but a mall is.) We recommend this interesting, strategic analysis to managers seeking a thought-provoking look at how to create new, enticing and profitable links.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback