Books about Online Marketplace Startups & Network Effects

I found all books I can about two-sided marketplaces. Most of the books I found center around their founders’ founding stories. That’s actually better for me, because, who doesn’t love good stories?

They are my personal reading lists.

Books about two-sided online marketplaces

An online marketplace is a platform where product or service information is provided by multiple vendors.

  1. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, by Duncan Clark. This is a book of Jack Ma built Alibaba from scratch. Alibaba is a B2B marketplace.
  2. The Everything Store, by Brad Stone. This is a book of Jeff Bezos that built Amazon from the beginning of the Internet Age. Amazon is a B2C marketplace.
  3. Amazon Unbound . Written by: Brad Stone
  4. Explosive Growth, by Cliff Lerner. This is “a rare behind-the-scenes look inside a fast-growing startup, Snap Interactive, that grew to 100 million users.”. His dating site is a P2P marketplace.
  5. Super Pumped, by Mike Isaac. This is a book about the rise and fall of hard-charging Travis Kalanick, who built Uber into an iconic unicorn and was ousted by VCs. Uber of course is a B2C marketplace.
  6. The Airbnb Story, by Leigh Gallagher. This is a book of Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb has disrupted the $500 billion hotel industry. AirBnB is a B2C marketplace.

Books about Network Effect Business

What do two-sided marketplace and social media have in common: they all rely on network effects to thrive.

  1. Facebook: the Inside Story, by Steven Levy. This is a book of Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook from his dorm room. Facebook can be considered a P2P marketplace.
  2. Platform Revolution, by Geoffrey G. Parker. Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, Platform Revolution is the first authoritative, fact-based book on platform models
  3. We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit by  Christine Lagorio-Chafkin. Reddit can be considered a P2P marketplace.
  4. No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram, by: Sarah Frier. Instagram can be considered a P2P marketplace.
  5. Blitzscaling,  by Reid Huffman. This is a book mentioned how Reid Hoffman blitzscaled LinkedIn and how Blitzscaling can be applied in other marketplace startups. 
  6. The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power, Written by: Michael A. Cusumano, Annabelle Gawer, David B. Yoffie
  7. Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms. Written by: Richard Schmalensee, David S. Evans
  8. The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects. Written by: Andrew Chen