Chapter 2
The “Grab All the Eyeballs” Fallacy
How One-Sided Analysis Led Many Dot-Coms Astray
When Chuck Templeton started out, his investors told him, “grab all the eyeballs you can and figure out how to monetize them later.”1 For OpenTable, that meant signing up as many restaurants as possible anywhere there was interest without worrying about how that would translate into revenue; after all, isn’t that what venture money is for? Chuck’s first successor as CEO took that advice to heart. It almost destroyed the company.
Other dot-coms that followed this advice weren’t so lucky. Most didn’t see the other end of 2001. The new economics of multisided platforms has revealed why that, and a lot of other business advice, is often wrong when ...

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