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Geoffrey Parker Named to Thinkers50 2023 Ranking

Nov 13, 2023   |   by Betsy Vereckey

Dartmouth Engineering's Geoffrey Parker, Hutchinson '68A Professor of Engineering Innovation and director of the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program, has been ranked in the Thinkers50—a list of top 50 management thinkers globally—for a third time for continued work on his theory of two-sided markets, used extensively in platform business models. Parker's research partner Marshall Van Alstyne of Boston University was also recognized.

Geoffrey Parker (left), Hutchinson '68A Professor of Engineering Innovation and director of the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program, and Marshall Van Alstyne of Boston University.

"We were pleased and honored to be nominated and win the award because there are so many impressive people among the awardees, said Parker. "To be recognized among these individuals is a great honor."

Parker and Van Alstyne's research helps firms decide on the best ways to build technology systems that create network effects and new sources of value. "The theory of two-sided markets that we developed back in 2000 is still incredibly powerful in helping firms both predict and design business models and systems," Parker said.

Looking to the future, Parker said he and Van Alstyne have been approached by companies who want to share their data externally but are hesitant for fear of data leaks or pricing anomalies. The mechanisms that Parker and Van Alstyne are designing will help firms solve these problems.

"The new research project we're working on with a number of firms is pretty exciting," Parker said. "It builds on our network effect concept and our understanding of platforms and will offer insight on how to design them and what the governance mechanisms are."

In addition to data sharing, Parker is thinking about how to use data and platforms in the context of the energy transition. Specifically, how to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels to a low carbon system. "There are a couple of initiatives that my doctoral students and I are working on in that space," Parker said.

Parker and Val Alstyne were the first to come up with the concept of the inverted firm, which illustrates how value is created outside a firm, rather than inside it. They also co-wrote the book Platform Revolution, along with Sangeet Paul Choudary, which continues to be a a popular source of guidance on how to adapt and thrive in the era of platform technology.

Parker and Van Alstyne were previously named to the Thinkers50 ranking in both 2021 and 2019, when they also received the Thinkers50 Digital Thinking Award. In addition, Parker holds an INFORMS Information Systems Society (ISS) Practical Impacts Award, and is a visiting scholar and fellow at the MIT Initiative for the Digital Economy.

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