How Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy Attracted Their First 1,000 Customers

(Shared by Christie Welch, Program Specialist, Direct Agricultural Marketing, OSU South Centers)

Posted on July 13, 2016
by HBS Working Knowledge – Harvard Business School
Michael Blanding

New businesses often struggle finding their first customers. The challenge is even more difficult with startups in the sharing economy that launch as platforms connecting independent service providers with consumers.

Take Uber. Its platform is two-sided, connecting people who need rides with people who have rides to offer. (Same idea as Airbnb, which connects people needing rooms with home-owners.) So to launch as a platform service, these companies need to find users on both the supply and demand sides. More