Marshall Van Alstyne

Questrom Professor in Management Professor, Information Systems

Professor Van Alstyne is one of the leading experts in network business models. He conducts research on information economics, covering such topics as communications markets, the economics of networks, intellectual property, social effects of technology, and productivity effects of information. As co-developer of the concept of “two-sided networks” he has been a major contributor to the theory of network effects, a set of ideas now taught worldwide. His co-authored article on the subject is a Harvard Business Review top 50 of all time.

Awards include two patents, National Science Foundation IOC, SGER, SBIR, iCorp and Career Awards, and eight best paper awards. Articles or commentary have appeared in Science, Nature, Management Science, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

    Education
  • PhD, MIT Sloan School, 1997
  • MS, MIT Sloan School, 1991
  • BA, Yale University, 1984
    Publications
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., Jiang, X. (In Press). "Platform Ecosystems: How Developers Invert the Firm", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Tabors, R., Caramanis, M., Ntakou, E., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., Centolella, P., Hornby, R. (2017). "Distributed Energy Resources: New Markets and New Products", Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 8
  • Dellarocas, C., Van Alstyne, M. (2013). "Money Models for MOOCs", Communications of the ACM, 56 (8), 25-28
  • Chintakananda, A., McIntyre, D., Srinivasan, A., Afuah, A., Boudreau, K., Kretschmer, T., Leiponen, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "Managing Multi-Sided Platforms", Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019 (1), 12000-12000
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2017). "Platform Business: From Resources to Relationships", GfK Marketing Intelligence Review, 9 (1), 24-29
  • Wan, X., Cenamor, J., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2017). "Unraveling Platform Strategies: A Review from an Organizational Ambidexterity Perspective", Sustainability, 9 (5)
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Choudary, S. (2016). "Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy", Harvard Business Review
  • Schrage, M., Van Alstyne, M. (2015). "Life of IP", Communications of the ACM, 58 (5), 20-23
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2014). Platform Strategy."The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management", Springer
  • Malhotra, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2014). "The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy ... and How to Lighten It", Communications of the ACM, 57 (11), 24-27
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2014). "Why Bitcoin Has Value", Communications of the ACM, 57 (5), 30-32
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2014). "Platform Strategy", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Dellarocas, C., Van Alstyne, M. (2013). "Money Models for MOOCs", Communications of the ACM, 56 (8), 25-28
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2013). "Why Not Immortality?", Communications of the ACM, 56 (11), 29-31
  • Bulkley, N., Van Alstyne, M. (2012). "An Empirical Analysis of Strategies and Efficiencies in Social Networks", Khoj Journal of Indian Management Research and Practices, II (2), 28-45
  • Van Alstyne, M., Eisenmann, T., Parker, G. (2011). Opening Platforms: How, When and Why."Platforms, Markets and Innovation", Edward Elgar Publishing 131-162
  • Benbya, H., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "How to Find Answers within Your Company", MIT Sloan Management Review, 52 (2), 65-75
  • Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "Platform Envelopment", Strategic Management Journal, 32 (12), 1270-1285
  • Aral, S., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "The Diversity-Bandwidth Trade-off", American Journal of Sociology, 117 (1), 90-171
  • Lazer, D., Pentland, A., Adamic, L., Aral, S., Barabasi, A., Brewer, D., Christakis, N., Contractor, N., Fowler, J., Gutmann, M., Jebara, T., King, G., Macy, M., Roy, D., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "Computational Social Science", Science, 323 (5915), 721-723
  • Gandal, N., King, C., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "The Social Network within a Management Recruiting Firm: Network Structure and Output", Review of Network Economics, 8 (4), 302-324
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "Six Challenges in Platform Licensing and Open Innovation", Communications & Strategies (74)
  • Benbya, H., Alstyne, M. (2008). "Eliciting and Validating Knowledge in Knowledge Management Systems", Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008)
  • Aral, S., Brynjolfsson, E., Van Alstyne, M. (2008). "Antecedents and Consequences of Mutual Knowledge in Teams", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2008). "Opening Platforms: How, When and Why?", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2007). "Curing Spam: Rights, Signals & Screens", The Economists' Voice, 4 (2)
  • Clarkson, G., Alstyne, M. (2007). "The Social Efficiency of Fairness: An Innovation Economics Approach to Innovation", 2007 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'07)
  • Loder, T., Van Alstyne, M., Wash, R. (2006). "An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication", Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy, 6 (1)
  • Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2006). "Strategies for Two Sided Markets", SSRN Electronic Journal
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2005). "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design", Management Science, 51 (10), 1494-1504
  • Van Alstyne, M., Brynjolfsson, E. (2005). "Global village or cyber-balkans? Modeling and measuring the integration of electronic communities", Management Science, 51 (6), 851-868
  • Van Alstyne, M., Bulkley, N. (2004). "Why Information Influence Should Productivity", Edward Elgar Pub
  • Choudary, S., Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2019). "Platforms and Blockchain Will Transform Logistics", Harvard Business Review
  • Jacobides, M., Sundararajan, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "Platforms and Ecosystems: Enabling the Digital Economy", World Economic Forum 1-32
  • Zhou, Z., Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "How Users, Time & Network Effects Affect Platform Value", Boston University Working Paper (December 20, 2019)
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2018). "Innovation, openness, and platform control", Management Science, 64 3015-3032
  • Benzell, S., LaGarda, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2017). "The Impact of APIs in Firm Performance", Boston University Questrom School of Business Research Paper (2843326)
  • Van Alstyne, M., Fiore, A., Schneider, S. (2017). "Crowd Souring: 4 Mistakes that Kill Crowdsourcing Efforts", Harvard Business Review
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2016). "Platform Revolution", W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Shanker, T. (2013). "How to Strengthen Ad Mail by Building a Digital Information Market", Office of Inspector General - Risk Analysis Research Center, USPS, RARC-Working Paper (14)
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "The State of Network Organization: A Survey in Three Frameworks", Journal of Organizational Computing, 7 (3)
  • Van Alstyne, M., Brynjolfsson, E., Madnick, S. (1995). "Why Not One Big Database? Principles for Data Ownership", Decision Support Systems, 15 267-284
    Research Presentations
  • Van Alstyne, M. Valuing Platform Firms, Academy of Management,, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Huawei, Shanghai, China, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Infosys, Antwerp, Belgium, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Hays, London, UK, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Elsevier, Berlin, Germany, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA, 2018
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift - How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Dong-A, Soeul, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift - How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Accenture, Johannesburg, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Trust, Distrust & Antitrust: Regulation in the Age of Platforms, Tilburg Department of Economics, Tilburg, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift - How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Eden MacCallum, London, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. , Benzell, S. , Largarda, G. The Role of APIs in Firm Performance, Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Ecosystems & Multi-Sided Platforms, Atlanta, GA, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platforms & Antitrust, Washington, DC, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift - How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, HSM Brazin, Sao Paulo, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. , Benzell, S. , Lagarda, G. The Role of APIs in Firm Performance, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth, Hanover, NH, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Antitrust, Infrastructure & Platforms, Berkeley Law Symposium, Berkeley, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. Platform Shift - How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, Mulesoft, San Francisco, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. The Role of APIs in Firm Performance, NYU Stern School, New York, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. The Role of APIs in Firm Performance, Heinz School of Public Policy, Pittsburgh, 2017
  • Van Alstyne, M. , Benzell, S. , Lagarda, G. The Role of APIs in Firm Performance, University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France, 2017
    Awards and Honors
  • 2019, Thinkers 50 Digital Thinking, Thinkers 50
  • 2019, Management Science - Best Paper Award, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  • 2018, AIS Best Publication Award, Association for Information Systems
  • 2018, Paper of the Year, MIS Quarterly
  • 2018, Harvard Business Review Top 50 Article of All Time, Harvard Business Review
  • 2017, Distinguished Scholar Award, Academy of Management
  • 2016, Best Business Book - Golden Book Award, Taiwanese Publisher
  • 2015, Excellence in Teaching, MBA Students
  • 2014, PhD Mentoring Award, SMG Ph.D. Students
  • 2013, SBIR, National Science Foundation
  • 2012, Dean's Research Fellowship, Boston University SMG
  • 2012, Innovation & Organization Sciences, National Science Foundation
  • 2011, US Patent 7,890,338 B2. Method for Managing a Whitelist., NSF Award 0114368
  • 2009, Best Paper, MIT Spam Conference (with Sarah Zatko)
  • 2009, Who's Who in America
  • 2007, Dean's Research Fellowship, Boston University
  • 2006, Best Paper, International Conference on Information Systems
  • 2006, Broderick Award for Excellence in Research, BU School of Management
  • 2006, Best Paper, Sunbelt Conference
  • 1999, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, National Science Foundation
  • 1996, Best Conference Theme Paper, International Conference on Information Systems
  • 1994, Hugh Hampton Young Fellowship, for innovative research
  • 1990, William L. Stewart Award