The evolution of online marketplaces demonstrates how large enterprises can successfully embrace business models that emerged from smaller businesses. Digital darlings such as eBay and Craigslist put online marketplaces on the map many years ago, and shortly we witnessed an explosion of these two-sided entities that connect sellers and buyers. Some of the niche marketplaces withered away. But other powerful marketplaces emerged as business giants such as Amazon and Walmart took advantage of their scale to offer the necessary critical mass of buyers and sellers for a marketplace to take hold. According to research firm Jumpshot, 84 percent of marketers sell across multiple marketplaces.

But marketplaces are not a panacea for large businesses wanting to be more relevant and adaptive. As my new post for Mind the Product points out,

Marketplaces can create disruption inside a company, and affect the roles, responsibilities, and processes that govern existing business models. It’s important that anyone thinking of launching a marketplace thoroughly tests their viability, feasibility, and lovability with customers in order to mitigate the risk and cost of building a marketplace – which is one reason why a design sprint is essential.

If you are an experienced practitioner of design sprints, my column will help you understand some of the nuances of adapting design sprints for marketplaces. If you’ve not used a design sprint before, my post should help set you up for success. Moonshot has deployed design sprints for many businesses including companies building marketplaces. Our recent commentary on design sprints includes:

Moonshot uses the design sprint with many clients. We’ve incorporated the design sprint into our FUEL methodology, which helps companies rapidly develop products at scale by combining design thinking and lean development. To learn more about FUEL, check out the following blog post. And contact Moonshot. We’re happy to help.


Mike Edmonds

Mike Edmonds

Managing Director, VP Product