The evolution of a sharing platform into a sustainable business

Ioanna Constantiou, Ben Eaton, Virpi Kristiina Tuunainen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A number of sharing economy start-ups have taken both digital and physical product markets by storm. These start-ups operate on two-sided platforms and enable sharing of physical products or services based on physical assets. Interestingly, they are subject to both the dynamics of the digital world (i.e., network effects), and the constraints of the physical world (i.e., issues of accountability when physical property is destroyed). We investigate how Airbnb, a sharing platform, evolve into a sustainable business with an in-depth case analysis based on data retrieved from a number of blogs providing information about Airbnb's actions. Our analysis with insights from platform economics and information infrastructures depicts two phases in the evolution process: creating the user base and augmenting the platform. With the two complementary theoretical perspectives we can offer a deeper understanding of the evolution of sharing platforms into sustainable and competitive businesses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 49th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS 2016
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780769556703
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Koloa, United States
Duration: 5 Jan 20168 Jan 2016
Conference number: 49


ConferenceAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Abbreviated titleHICSS
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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