Nina-Birte Schirrmacher, Jan Ondrus, Thomas Kude
In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017
Publication year: 2017

Abstract

Due to two-sidedness and network effects, digital platforms face a coordination problem to attract producers and consumers upon launch. Scholars have suggested launch strategies for solving this problem with only limited empirical evidence. In this paper, we relate to the strategies of sequential and simultaneous entry of consumers and producers. We conducted a qualitative study interviewing 14 founders and CEOs of digital platforms. We used an analysis of 1st and 2nd order concepts to relate the emerging data to existing theory. We observe that the ability to switch between the producer and consumer side, (i.e., being producer in one transaction and consumer in another one), has so far remained unexplored in the platform literature despite its importance for the implementation of launch strategies.Our findings suggest that digital platforms with switching sides implement a simultaneous entry strategy, whereas digital platforms without switching sides implement a sequential entry strategy. We conclude by providing implications for researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors and by giving directions for future research.