Marketplaces Cheat Sheet: My 12 Favorite Resources

After starting Storefront in 2012 in Minnesota and then moving west, I’ve spent the majority of my time in San Francisco building a marketplace, talking to marketplace founders, and reading about the trials and tribulations of marketplace startups.

Here’s a quick hit list of some of my favorite online and offline resources:

  1. The Notorious Craigslist Graphic. This graphic shows the flood of new marketplace businesses from the many Craigslist verticals. Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners put out a cleaner version.
  2. 14 Marketplace Mistakes Killing Your Startup. A post I compiled on the 500 Startups blog covering stories from the founders and early employees of Lyft, Etsy, Airbnb, and 11 other marketplaces.
  3. Version One Venture’s Marketplace Guide. Boris Wertz and Angela Nguyen have been long-time proponents of marketplaces and put out some of the best marketplace content. Check out their blog, too.
  4. Crowd Companies blog by Jeremiah Owyang. Looks at the sharing economy side of marketplaces. Favorite post: ‘Collaborative Economy Honeycomb.’
  5. simon rothman’s blog. The creator of eBay Motors is a partner at Greylock and puts out fantastic content, as well as exclusive Grey Market marketplace founder-only events.
  6. James Currier’s NFX blog. In particular, the post ‘An Epiphany about Network Effects’ that looks at how marketplaces hit hypergrowth.
  7. Marketplaces group on Facebook. I started this private community for marketplace founders and leaders out of a Marketplace Dinners series. Currently there are 700 members posting marketplace stories, questions, and content.
  8. Marketplace Dinners. I’ve hosted 10 marketplace dinners and events over the last couple years to bring together marketplace founders.
  9. Jeff Jordan’s A16Z blog. In particular, the past CEO of OpenTable’s post about online marketplaces.
  10. Growth Hackers case study on Airbnb. This story tells the reveled story of Airbnb’s early start and growth.
  11. Bill Gurley’s AboveTheCrowd blog. A General Partner at Benchmark, Gurley has been an early investor in some of the best performing marketplaces, including eBay, Uber, Zillow, OpenTable, and many more.
  12. Autopsy.io. To end on an appropriate high note, this is a catalog of failed startups and the learnings from them, marketplaces included.

What’s your favorite marketplace resource? Comment it below.