CREATED 4-2-2020 ::  UP-dated 4-21-2020  >>  KROGER/INSTACART REFUND IN PROGRESS
  PAGE CREATED 4-2-2020 ::    UP-dated 4-21-2020    >>  KROGER/INSTACART REFUND IN PROGRESS ... :-)


USA "state" "minimum" "wage" PLUS "all the" food "you can steal"

on-demand platforms" <<< 

>>> INSTACART  ( )  ::  

   MapleBare Inc. source:  

 Date = 4-7-2020

Hi Susan, Thank you for that information. [ ]
 I was able to locate your order - [? using Hans' Email address - as 'InstaCart' database "key"?]

I have sent over information [to Kroger] to have the refund processed. They [?Kroger?] will be in contact with you in regards to the refund. Thank you again for bringing this issue to our attention and allowing us to help resolve this for you. -  Sincerely, Jordan Instacart Care

  Have other questions? -- Instacart  ... 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    :: Maplebear Inc -- dba "instacart"  < :-) [stock:IPO] :: Should they provide EMPLOYEE "hazard pay" during Pandemic? 
6. Instacart Instacart is a grocery delivery service founded in 2012 [BENEFITING FROM THE "PANDEMIC"] and now operating in most major towns and cities in the United States. Shoppers originally paid a markup for delivery, but now, thanks to relationships with grocery stores, users can shop at in-store prices (and InstaCart shares the store’s markup). ... A 2019 IPO could help Instacart secure the funds to really take on their biggest competitor, Amazon. Following a 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of HelloFresh, Amazon has put considerable focus on grocery delivery in recent years. Instacart may need a 2019 IPO cash surge to stay competitive...." SOURCE: 
 SOURCE:  < "... Legal Process and Information Requests ::This page is intended to provide guidelines when seeking records from Instacart. Information on this page may change from time to time and is intended for informational purposes only. ... What is Instacart? -- Maplebear Inc. (d/b/a Instacart) is a technology company that utilizes a proprietary communications and logistics platform to facilitate quick, on-demand grocery delivery services across the United States and Canada by connecting platform users with personal shoppers [New York - city].

Instacart partners with local retailers [like Krogers ]  - who wish to have their products available on Instacart’s [software] platform - for delivery to Krogers customers.  Instacart  engages with independent contractors - who provide personal shopping and delivery services [LAW of agency]. Instacart is not a retailer . ..." ..."    ::  retailer < CAMBRIDGE English Dictionary 



State Minimum Wages | 2020 Minimum Wage by State


The table below reflects current state minimum wages in effect as of Jan. 1, 2020, as well as future enacted increases.


2020 Highlights

2019 Highlights

2018 Highlights

2017 Highlights

2016 Highlights

Currently, 29 states and D.C. have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Five states have not adopted a state minimum wage: Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee.  New Hampshire repealed their state minimum wage in 2011 but adopted the federal minimum wage by reference.

State Legislation

State Minimum Wage Legislation
State Minimum Wage Future Enacted
Indexed Automatic
Annual Adjustments
Alabama none
Alaska $10.19 Indexed annual increases begin
Jan. 1, 2017. (2014 ballot measure)
American Samoa varies 1
Arizona $12.00 Rate increased annually based on cost of living beginning Jan. 2021 (2016 ballot measure)
Arkansas $10.00

$11 eff. 1-1-21



$14 eff. 1-1-21

$15 eff. 1-1-22

Indexed annual increases based on CPI begin Jan. 1, 2023



$12 eff. 1-1-20

Rate increased  annually based on cost of living beginning Jan. 1 2021 (2016 ballot measure)



$12 eff. 9-1-20

$13 eff. 8-1-21

$14 eff. 7-1-22

$15 eff. 6-1-23

Indexed annual increases based on the employment cost index begin January 1, 2024





$15 eff. 7-1-20

Indexed annual increases based on CPI begin July 1, 2021



Annual increase based cost of living. (Constitutional amendment 2004)











$10 eff. 7-1-20

$11 eff. 1-1-21

$12 eff. 1-1-22

$13 eff. 1-1-23

$14 eff. 1-1-24

$15 eff. 1-1-25 4












$12.00 5

Indexed annual increases based on CPI begin Jan 1, 2021



$11.75 eff. 1-1-21

$12.50 eff. 1-1-22

$13.25 eff. 1-1-23

$14 eff. 1-1-24

$15 eff. 1-1-25


$12.75 7

$13.50 eff. 1-1-21

$14.25 eff. 1-1-22

$15 eff. 1-1-23



$9.87 eff. 1-1-2021

$10.10 eff. 1-1-2022

$10.33 eff. 1-1-2023

$10.56 eff. 1-1-2024

$10.80 eff. 1-1-2025

$11.04 eff. 1-1-2026

$11.29 eff. 1-1-2027

$11.54 eff. 1-1-2028

$11.79 eff. 1-1-2029

$12.05 eff. 1-1-2030


$10.00/$8.15 8

Indexed annual increases begin
Jan. 1, 2018.

(2014 legislation)




$9.45 9

$10.30 eff. 1-1-21

$11.15 eff. 1-1-22

$12 eff. 1-1-23

Minimum wage increased or decreased by cost of living starting Jan. 1, 2024. (2018 ballot measure)


$8.65/$4 10

Increases done annually based on the CPI and effective Jan. 1 of the following year. (2006 ballot measure)




$8.25/$7.25 11

$9.00/$8.00 eff. 7-1-20

$9.75/$8.75 eff. 7-1-21

$10.50/$9.50 eff. 7-1-22

$11.25/$10.25 eff. 7-1-23

$12.00/$11.00 eff. 7-1-24

Increases subject to the federal minimum wage and consumer price index. Increases take effect July 1. (Constitutional amendment 2004/2006).

 New Hampshire

repealed by HB 133 (2011)

 New Jersey

$11.00 12

$12 eff. 1-1-21

$13 eff. 1-1-22

$14 eff. 1-1-23

$15 eff. 1-1-24

Indexed annual increases based on the CPI beginning 2025. (2019 legislation)

 New Mexico


$10.50 eff. 1-1-21

$11.50 eff. 1-1-22

$12.00 eff. 1-1-23

 New York


$12.50 eff. 12-31-20

After 12-31-20, the rate is adjusted annually for inflation until it reaches $15.00

 North Carolina


 North Dakota


 Northern Mariana Islands $7.25



Indexed annual increases based on the CPI. (Constitutional amendment 2006)


$7.25/$2 15



$12.00 eff. 7-1-20

$12.75 eff. 7-1-21

$13.50 eff. 7-1-22

Indexed annual increases based on the CPI are effective July 1, 2023 (2016 legislation)



 Puerto Rico

$7.25/$5.08 17

 Rhode Island


 South Carolina


 South Dakota


Annual indexed increases begin
Jan. 1, 2016. (2014 ballot measure.)









Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, minimum wage increased annually by 5% or the CPI, whichever is smaller; it cannot decrease. Note: Vermont started indexing in 2007 but enacted additional increases in 2014.
(2014 legislation)

 Virgin Islands






Annual indexed increases began Jan. 1, 2020. (ballot measure 2016)

 West Virginia






Sources: U.S. Dept. of Labor,; and state web sites.


1 American Samoa: The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-28) sets minimum wage rates within American Samoa and provides for additional increases in the minimum wage of $0.50 per hour each year on May 25, until reaching the minimum wage generally applicable in the United States. The wage rates are set for particular industries, not for an employee's particular occupation. The rates are minimum rates; an employer may choose to pay an employee at a rate higher than the rate(s) for its industry.

2  California: The minimum wage scheduled increases are delayed by one year for employers with 25 or fewer employees. The rate increases to $10.50 per hour effective 1/1/2018 and is increased by $1.00 increments annually until it reaches $15.00 effective 1/1/2023

3  Connecticut: The Connecticut minimum wage rate automatically increases to 1/2 of 1 percent above the rate set in the Fair Labor Standards Act if the Federal minimum wage rate equals or becomes higher than the State minimum.

4 Illinois: Employers with 50 or fewer full time employees are eligible for a tax credit equal to a certain percentage of the cost of their annual wage increases. Employers are only eligible for the credit if the average wage for employees making $55,000 or less increases over the year. The amount of the credit that can be claimed is as follows: 25 percent for the 2020 reporting period; 21 percent for 2021; 17 percent for 2022; 13 percent for 2023; 9 percent for 2024; 5 percent for 2025; 5 percent for 2026; 5 percent for 2027, but only for employers with no more than five employees. 

5 The Maine minimum wage is automatically replaced with the Federal minimum wage rate if it is higher than the State minimum.

6  Mayland: For small employers (14 or fewer employees), the schedule of increases is as follows: $11.00 eff. 1-1-20; $11.60 eff. 1-1-21; $12.20 eff. 1-1-22; $12.80 eff. 1-1-23; $13.40 eff. 1-1-24; $14.00 eff. 1-1-2025; $14.60 eff. 1-1-26; $15.00 eff. 7-1-26.

7  The Massachusetts minimum wage rate automatically increases to 10 cents above the rate set in the Fair Labor Standards Act if the Federal minimum wage equals or becomes higher than the State minimum.

8  Minnesota: With the passage of H.B. 2091 (2014), the annual sales volume threshold was reduced to $500,000. For large employers, with an annual sales volume of $500,000 or more, the minimum wage is currently $9.50; for small employers, those with an annual sales volume of less than $500,000, the minimum wage is $7.75.

9  Missouri - In addition to the exemption for federally covered employment, the law exempts, among others, employees of a retail or service business with gross annual sales or business done of less than $500,000.

10  Montana: the $4.00 rate applies to businesses with gross annual sales of $110,000 or less; $8.15 applies to all others.

11  Nevada: $8.25 without health benefits; $7.25 with health benefits.

12  New Jersey: For small employers (six employees or fewer), the schedule of increases is as follows: $10.30 eff. 1-1-20; $11.10 eff. 1-1-21; $11.90 eff. 1-1-22; $12.70 eff. 1-1-23; $13.50 eff. 1-1-24; $14.30 eff. 1-1-25; $15.00 eff 1-1-26.

13  New York: The new minimum wage varies across the state based on geographical location and, in New York City, employer size.

New York Minimum Wage
Year NYC Large Employers (11 or more employees) NYC Small Employers (10 or fewer employees) NY Downstate (Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties)
Dec. 31, 2017 $13 $12 $11
Dec. 31, 2017 $15 $13.50 $12
Dec. 31, 2017 -- $15 $13
Dec. 31, 2017 -- -- $14
Dec. 31, 2017 -- -- $15

14 Ohio: $7:25 for employers grossing $299,000 or less

15 Oklahoma: Employers of ten or more full-time employees at any one location and employers with annual gross sales over $100,000 irrespective of number of full-time employees are subject to federal minimum wage; all others are subject to state minimum wage of $2.00 (OK ST T. 40 § 197.5).

16 Oregon: In addition to the new standard minimum wage rate, SB 1532 sets out a higher rate for employers located in the urban growth boundary, and a lower rate for employers located in nonurban counties. Their respective planned increases are below.

Oregon Minimum Wage
Year Portland Metro Nonurban Counties
July 1, 2016 $9.75 $9.50
July 1, 2017 $11.25 $10
July 1, 2018 $12 $10.50
July 1, 2019 $12.50 $11
July 1, 2020 $13.25 $11.50
July 1, 2021 $14 $12
July 1, 2022 $14.75 $12.50
July 1, 2023 $1.25 over standard minimum wage $1 below standard minimum wage

17 Puerto Rico: Employers covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are subject to the Federal minimum wage of $7.25. Employers not covered by the FLSA will be subject to a minimum wage that is at least 70 percent of the Federal minimum wage or the applicable mandatory decree rate of $5.08, whichever is higher. The Secretary of Labor and Human Resources may authorize a rate based on a lower percentage for any employer who can show that implementation of the 70 percent rate would substantially curtail employment in that business.

Other Exceptions




 6. Instacart Instacart is a grocery delivery service founded in 2012 [BENEFITTING FROM THE PANDEMIC] and now operating in most major towns and cities in the United States. Shoppers originally paid a markup for delivery, but now, thanks to relationships with grocery stores, users can shop at in-store prices (and InstaCart shares the store’s markup). ... A 2019 IPO could help Instacart secure the funds to really take on their biggest competitor, Amazon. Following a 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods and the launch of HelloFresh, Amazon has put considerable focus on grocery delivery in recent years. Instacart may need a 2019 IPO cash surge to stay competitive.

General profile image
Anonymous - 13 m ago How can I contact someone at Instacart

General profile image
Yma - 17 m 42 s ago
1 2 3 4 5 How about this... I am getting emails on another PERSON for another person. I now have her name, address, phone, driving record, etc I have tried far too many times to have instacart reach out to me... to no avail. This is absurd!

General profile image
CBR - 20 m 32 s ago

I am appalled that Instacart would be so unwilling to give their shoppers the protective gear they need during this time. I would gladly pay more if it means they get what they need, taking the risks they are taking, to make sure I keep my family fed while not becoming exposed to Coronavirus. I give the shoppers 5 stars, but Instacart ZERO stars for your bad behavior.

At first, I was thinking that even after this virus is gone I would keep using Instacart for the convenience. THAT WON'T BE HAPPENING FOR MANY OF US IF YOU CONTINUE TO TREAT THESE SHOPPERS THE WAY YOU HAVE!

You are making a boatload of money! Stop being so greedy as this will all come back to bite you when this is over.

General profile image
cheryl hill - 8 h 24 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
Problem with credit card charge-kroger could not explain and connected me to insta cart whose outgoing message said 2 hour wait.

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Nena - 39 m ago
Same for me. Credit card charged more than the Kroger receipt that includes the Delivery Fee. I've been on hold for 2 hours 34 minutes now trying to get this corrected. Ordered my grocery delivery on the Kroger store website. I called them first thinking they would handle the over-charge. They said that their delivery orders go to Instacart and I would have to contact Instacart. Won't use Kroger delivery again if they won't address these simple problems of overcharges even if they are made by Instacart, which is

who they have contracted with to provide this service.

General profile image
TotallyDissatisfied - 1 h ago
1 2 3 4 5

General profile image
A - 1 h 20 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
I ordered ~$100 worth of groceries through instacart yesterday, as given current situation around the world I didn't want to risk a trip to the grocery store causing me to bring a virus home to my immunocompromised son or his 87 year old grandma. Well instacart delivered it to the wrong house and then cancelled my scheduled phone call and I've now been on hold for nearly three hours. I'd even set the tip quite high due to the current situation and as a thank you for the shopper still being willing to go out and shop. I'm very upset.

General profile image
Anonymous - 1 h 31 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
instacart took my $700, documented my groceries were delivered lastnight via a shopper by the name of Albert. These were not delivered.

General profile image
Anonymous - 4 h 12 m ago

General profile image
Anonymous - 2 h 18 m ago
I agree 1000 percent with you if you like I think we all need to start a petition

General profile image
Bonnie Simmons - 1 d ago
1 2 3 4 5
The worst customer service I have ever tried to deal with. On hold for 2 hours three different times. No options to contact anyone about an issue.

General profile image
Melissa Moore - 4 h 16 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
You can schedule a phone call with instacart if you have their app. They called me this morning. And took care of my problem right away.

General profile image
Johnny - 3 h 23 m ago
How do you schedule. Told me the wait was 126 minutes!!!

General profile image
CAROL - 3 h 48 m ago
1 2 3 4 5

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jenn - 4 h ago
1 2 3 4 5
first delivery 4/1/20. Charged $85 for order that was less than $50. Receipt in online acct different (higher) than receipt in the delivery bags. I was also charged for 2 items that are missing from the delivery. On hold for 60 minutes plus & then the wait time is extended. No way to communicate with shopper to remedy inaccurate charges. Emailing instacart is useless. Emails must go into dead-letter zone.

General profile image
Jackie burch - 4 h 28 m ago
They delivered items that are not mine please get I left on porch

My total is way off so I need that fixed

I can not call you wait is hour and half

Please call me (hidden)

Please come get wrong groceries it will go bad

General profile image
Luke - 19 h 23 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
I don't understand instacart I did shop for One customer and it won't let me press done for anyting. I haven't even gotten paid not going to use instacart anymore. My account still currently says I'm still shopping horrible app

General profile image
Michelle - 8 h 13 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
Mine did the same Luke. I checked this morning and the orders finally went away, but no pay. It was for $43. I took pics of everything yesterday BUT no one to talk too or send info too. They totally have abandoned their shoppers and left them hi and dry. I was going on three hours late to deliver three different orders. Horrible experience

General profile image
Mara - 5 h ago
Luke, that happens to me frequently. There is no communication from Instacart and no easy way to get help. It is messed up. Plus, tips get reduced after shopping for no good reason! The people give me good reviews but then their tip gets reduced, bait and switch. Is it Instacart taking away the money or the customer? No one will tell me why this happens! Especially at this dire time? It is unbelievably unfair

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Kay - 6 h 17 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
This is crazy, I do not use instcart but 4 times have had groceries delivered to my house which I fuss i did not order.....I have spent hours on phone to find out who is using my address

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Michelle - 8 h 17 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
Instacart is stealing from the drivers & customers! I should have checked out reviews before signing up to deliver . The sign up process to become a delivery shopper was easy and very quick. I did my first gig yesterday and it went HORRIBLE!! The app kept going down. After spending 5 hours shopping for three small orders and then delivery, my earnings do not show I did anything . Absolutely NO customer service to help. No links, phone disconnected, no chat! And they literally put out a statement past Sunday that they are hiring 300,000 more!!!! . Ok , let's see how that works. I think they are in over their head . One star for fast hiring process and received my Instacard for payments in three days.

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Anonymous - 11 h 35 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
My food was left on the corner of my block and spoiled sat on hold for customer wife 2 hours and then the minutes keep going up. The. Hit the call back with said 545am and never received a call. This is a scam and now I'm out of food for a family of five on a tight budget during this stressful time. I will be contacting my credit card company for a full refund for my order. I will be placing a BBB complaint as well.

General profile image
Anonymous - 17 h ago
1 2 3 4 5
On hold for 3 hours. Food never arrived but was charged 340$

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Justme - 17 h 18 m ago
1 2 3 4 5
268 Minutes! Are kidding me!

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Disgusted with Instacart - 19 h 60 m ago
I just spent three hours on hold, and instead of reducing my wait time, they kept adding time. Right at the time they were finally supposed to answer, they disconnected. HORRIBLE SERVICE!

 Attn: Customer Service, 1014 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202. 19.May 16, 2018

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"... Instacart workers voted to unionize this past weekend for better working conditions
 It was a small group of employees, but it could signal a broader shift for gig workers

  By Nick Statt@nickstatt  Feb 4, 2020, 1:59pm EST

Instacart Shopping Service

Photo [AT LINK ABOVE] by Lane Turner/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
A group of Instacart employees in Skokie, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, voted to unionize this past weekend with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1546 chapter, Motherboard reported. The union vote is a landmark victory for gig worker activism, as it represents the first time employees of tech companies that rely predominantly on contract labor have formed a union to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The workers that voted to unionize were not contract workers but are classified as part-time Instacart employees due to how the grocery delivery company structures its operation.

Instacart mainly relies on a fleet of more than 140,000 contract workers who, like Uber and Lyft drivers and other delivery workers for on-demand platforms, are not paid a wage and instead make money per delivery.

Because Instacart requires careful coordination of grocery orders in-store, it has hired more than 12,000 in-store “shoppers” who work just under 30 hours a week at a fixed wage, which is under the threshold that would require Instacart provide benefits like health care, Motherboard reported.

Still, thanks to labor laws, Instacart is required to classify these workers as part-time employees, instead of contract workers, due to the nature of their work and the fact that Instacart exerts control over the number of hours per week they work. That, in turn, has made those specific Instacart workers eligible to unionize.

This past weekend, a group of 15 did just that by coordinating with the local UFCW chapter and overcoming an anti-union campaign Instacart waged by sending managers to the grocery store, Mariano’s, where the workers packed up orders. “The workers remained united throughout the organizing campaign despite being subjected to their company’s anti-union stance,” Bob O’Toole, the UFCW Local 1546 president, said in a press statement. “We look forward to this opportunity to work with our new Instacart members in negotiating their first union contract.”

According to the UFCW, the Instacart workers now plan to begin working on a collective bargaining agreement that will be negotiated with corporate management, with the aim of improving items like access to health care, hourly wages, and time off, among others.

“Instacart cares deeply about all members of our community, which includes in-store shoppers who are part-time employees,” an Instacart spokesperson told The Verge in a statement. “We will always support employee freedom and choice, and we respect our employees’ rights to explore unionization.” The spokesperson says Instacart “will honor the outcome of this election,” and the company will negotiate a contract “in good faith.”

Unionization and broader labor activism have become hot-button topics throughout the tech industry over the past few years, both within the ranks of full-time employees at high-profile institutions like Google and among the contracts workforces of the industry’s most successful on-demand platforms. Amazon, Google (as well as YouTube), Kickstarter, Tesla, and numerous other companies have aggressively pushed back against efforts from full-time workers to unionize, in some cases refusing to voluntarily recognize unions and participating in anti-union and union-busting activities.

But the situation is slightly more promising in the gig economy workforce, which is composed of much more vulnerable workers and has a much broader groundswell of support from activists and politicians. Numerous laws around the country, most notably the controversial California AB5 bill, have put pressure on companies that rely on contract workers, like Uber and DoorDash and others, to classify those people as full-time employees.

Uber and other on-demand companies are currently fighting the California law, but the general attitude around unionization and worker protections has shifted significantly of late. Labor actions like those of the Instacart employees in Skokie signal that pro-worker movements within the tech industry will likely only intensify.

Kickstarter [ ] , which has fought its employees’ decision to unionize for nearly a year now, would become the first tech company with an employee union - if its election with the National Labor Review Board results in a yes vote to unionize. According to Motherboard, the results of that vote will be counted next month. ...     < Source

"...  Jun 12, 2016 · 9 min read

Almost every software entrepreneur nowadays builds some kind of a ‘platform’. 

 Yet very few will confidently answer a seemingly simple, but very important question: What kind of platform do you build?

All platforms are not created equal. Google Search, Facebook, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Marketplace, Android, INSTACART, Uber, AirBnB, Waze, WeWork, Twilio and even Bitcoin are all platforms. At the same time, these platforms are very different in how they create network effects, interactions they enable, approaches to solving “chicken and egg” problems (do you build the demand side first or the supply side?), openness levels, growth dynamics, subsidies, competitive strategies and monetisation methods.
Building a successful platform is more about making the right trade-offs than it is about best technology. To understand these tradeoffs you must have a good grasp on what kind of platform you are building. We decided to help platform entrepreneurs understand these tradeoffs, find their role models and learn from numerous examples of other platforms. We took a data-driven approach and analyzed 170+ platform businesses created by Internet giants, traditional companies and startups. Several iterations on the data produced nine distinct platform types that we introduce in this post:

1) Technology Platforms : 2) Computing Platforms : 3) Utility Platforms : 4) Interaction Networks : 5) Marketplaces : 6) On-demand Service Platforms
7) Content Crowdsourcing Platforms : 8) Data Harvesting Platforms : 9) Content Distribution Platforms

Platform Hunt is an open initiative aimed to help entrepreneurs build successful platform businesses. 

The list of 170+ (and growing) platform examples is open and is stored in a public Trello board at We hope to make Platform Hunt even more useful to entrepreneurs by tapping into the wisdom of the crowds. 

Anyone can comment in the Trello board. 
Anyone can submit a platform example by filling a simple form at . 
Each new platform example will help entrepreneurs to learn from the collective experience of other platform businesses.

Here’s how you can help: Spread the word about Platform Hunt on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to reach more people interested in platform business models and startups!

Technology Platforms
Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Twilio are examples of Technology Platforms. Technology Platforms provide building blocks or services that are reused in a large number of products. Through permission-less innovation 3rd party developers embed these building blocks and services in their products, driving more adoption of the platform.
The reason we included Technology Platforms in Platform Hunt is that platforms like AWS are routinely lumped together with multi-sided platforms like Uber or AirBnB.
Note that Technology Platforms are not two-sided markets. They are not designed to connect platform participants (for example, producers and consumers, or people in a social network). Instead, Technology Platforms monetize by selling their services to developers and are typically invisible to the end users. For example, while Netflix runs its video streaming services on top of Amazon Web Services platform (AWS), end-users interact solely with Netflix. AWS is the plumbing that enables the service.
There are no inherent networks effects in Technology Platforms. They grow linearly with adoption by developers and do not rely on the interaction between a demand side and a supply side. As a result, Technology Platforms are much easier to launch because there is no need to solve the chicken and egg problem seen in multi-sided or peer-to-peer platforms.

Computing Platforms
Computing Platforms, in stark contrast with Technology Platforms, enable interactions between platform users and 3rd party developers. In Technology Platforms the developer “owns” the user. In Computing Platforms, the platform “owns” the user. Computing Platforms, like Apple iOS, Google Android or Microsoft Windows, allow developers extend the platform with new use cases, making the platform more valuable to users.
In modern Computing Platforms the connection between users and developers is through an app store/marketplace, which streamlines discovery, recommendations, activation and monetisation of apps/bots/extensions. Computing Platforms develop strong bi-directional network effects once the platform reaches critical mass. Users attract developers, developers make apps, apps attract users, users attract developers and so on. Successfully launching a Computing Platform requires a solution to the difficult and all too well-known chicken and egg problem. How to attract users when there are no developers? How to attract developers when there are no users?
To solve this problem, computing platforms first build critical mass of one side of the platform and then open it up to the second type of participants. For example, Apple iOS was launched without any 3rd party apps or developer ecosystem. iPhones only had Apple’s own apps and services (Safari, Mail, iTunes) or those developed through direct partnerships. Once their user base (demand side) reached critical mass, Apple opened the platform to 3rd party developers (supply side) and the rest is history. The network effect between iPhone users and iOS developers then fueled explosive growth of the platform.
Google, on the other hand, took a different approach when launching their Android platform. Google first focused on attracting an initial population of developers (supply side) by rallying them with open source slogans and running competitions with substantial prizes. Developers started to make apps even before physical devices were available, using an Android emulator. When HTC G1, the first Android device, was launched, it was already seeded with an initial app portfolio.

Utility Platforms
Google Search, Kayak and Zenefits are examples of Utility Platforms. Utility Platforms attract users by providing a useful, typically free service. Once there is critical mass of users using the service, the platform opens to the second type of participants, advertisers in the case of Google Search, airlines in the case of Kayak or insurance companies in the case of Zenefits.
There is no network effect in the useful service itself. Users attract businesses, but businesses on the platform do not necessarily attract users. We go to Google Search looking for information, not to see ads.Launching Utility Platforms is fairly straightforward — Make sure you have a useful service that generates repeated use and has negligible marginal cost. Once you have an asset created by a critical mass of users (e.g. data, targeted engagement, etc.), open your service to businesses to monetise the platform (for example, through advertising, commissions or anonymized data).

Interaction Networks
Facebook, WeChat and Bitcoin are examples of Interaction Networks. The common element is that this type of platform facilitates interactions between specific participants (people and/or businesses). The digital interactions can take form of a message, voice call, image, or money transfer.
Identity is the foundational characteristic of Interaction Networks. All interactions on the platform are anchored on specific accounts.
Users join the platform to interact with other users, and therefore the primary network effect is between the users of the platform. Users attract users, who attract more users. In that sense, the platform is a one-sided platform connecting participants of the same type.
Launch strategy for Interaction Networks is quite well understood. The platform owner would typically target groups of people who already interact with each other, create a critical mass of interactions on the platform and build up the network effect adding more and more users to the platform. For example, Facebook initially launched a network exclusive to Harvard University students before moving on to other colleges and then finally, opening it up to all users.

Marketplaces like eBay, Amazon Marketplace, AirBnB, Kickstarter or UpWork are two-sided platforms connecting supply with demand. Marketplaces enable transactions between demand-side participants (buyers) and supply-side participants (sellers). Prices of goods and services offered on the platform are set by the supply-side participants. Not less important, there is high sensitivity for variety of services/products — generally, the more variety offered on the platform, the better.
The network effect in Marketplaces is between buyers and sellers. Sellers attract buyers, who attract more sellers, and so on.
Identity plays a secondary role in the platform. Buyers look for a specific product or service, not a specific seller. The product/service can be offered by multiple sellers who compete on price, reputation and experience.
Launching a marketplace and solving the chicken and egg problem is a difficult balancing act. Typically, a nascent platform begins with platform owners bringing small number of sellers catering to a niche audience. The platform then grows from there with most efforts devoted to bring buyers to the platform. Amazon Marketplace used a different launch strategy. Amazon already had substantial number of buyers on its online retail service, when the company allowed 3rd party sellers to sell to Amazon’s buyers.

On-demand Service Platforms
Uber, Munchery and Heal are examples of On-demand Service Platforms. This type of platform is designed to deliver end-to-end services fulfilled by a network of independent service providers/contractors. Its tradeoffs are very different from those of Marketplaces.
On-demand Service Platforms integrate discovery, order, payment, fulfilment, certification and confirmation of the service under one roof. Price, quality standards and the fulfillment processes are all set by the platform. The user/buyer typically has very little freedom, if at all, in selecting how the service will be delivered and by whom.
Availability and predictability of the service are essential quality metrics of On-demand Service Platforms. Contrary to Marketplaces, high variety of services is actually damaging for On-demand Service Platforms. The higher the variety, the less control the platform owner has over how the service is delivered, leading to a poor user experience and lower user retention.
The network effect of On-demand Service Platforms manifests itself in service availability. That is users are not directly attracted by the number or variety of service providers. Instead, the more service providers there are on the platform, the better the service availability, and as a result more users will be attracted to the platform.
Uber measures availability in minutes. Other On-demand Service Platforms can measure availability in hours, days or even weeks. For example, marketing on-demand service Doz delivers the service in weeks. The availability needs to be predictable and aligned with customer expectations for the particular type of service.
Launching an On-demand Service Platform typically involves signing up just enough service providers to ensure service availability to the first users of the platform. As the number of users grows, the platform owner must also grow the number of service providers on the platform to guarantee service availability.
Given the paramount importance of service availability in On-demand Platforms, it is clear that Uber’s Surge pricing was not designed to increase revenues, but to maintain service availability by balancing supply and demand.

Content Crowdsourcing Platforms
YouTube, Yelp and TripAdvisor are examples of Content Crowdsourcing Platforms. This platform type is about collecting content from a subset of users (video, blog posts, reviews, ratings, etc.) and sharing this content with a wide user base of the platform.
As opposed to Interaction Networks, where interaction is anchored on specific accounts, in Content Crowdsourcing Platforms users interact with the platform and the interaction is anchored on the content. The network effect is between content contributors and content consumers of the platform. The more content there is on the platform, the more content consumers will join the platform making it more valuable for contributors, who in turn generate more content. Launching Content Crowdsourcing Platforms is fairly straightforward. The platform owner will typically seed the platform with the initial content, then work to acquire users and motivate some of them to contribute more content.

Data Harvesting Platforms
Waze, OpenSignal and are examples of Data Harvesting Platforms. Such platforms offer a useful service to the users and generate data through usage of the platform service. In fact, the agreement to contribute data is a requirement to join the platform. The data collected from all users of the platform is fed back to the service making it more useful for users.
The network effect in these kind of platforms is based on data rather than users. Usage generates data, which in turn makes the platform more valuable for users, which attract more users, whose usage generates more data, and so on.
Launching Data Harvesting Platforms typically requires building an initial user base without having the data network effect. For example, Waze started as Freemap app for Nokia phones at the time when navigation services were expensive. Freemap built its initial user base by offering free navigation using crowdsourced maps. Once there were enough users on the platform, the service value proposition shifted from free maps to traffic prediction based on the data collected from all users of the service.

Content Distribution Platforms
Google AdSense, Outbrain, Smaato and Millennial Media are examples of Content Distribution Platforms. Such platforms connect owners of user touch-points (web sites, mobile apps, devices) with content owners wishing to deliver the content (or ads) to the users.
The network effect in Content Distribution Platforms is between owners of the user touch-points and the content owners. The more touch-points the platform aggregates, the more attractive it becomes to the content owners. The more content is available on the platform, the more attractive the platform is for the owners of the touch-points. User reach and accuracy of content matching are the main quality metrics.

In summary
If you’ve successfully read through this long post, you now should be able to confidently navigate the complex landscape of platform business models. Don’t stop here. To get inspiration for your business, understand the trade-offs and find your role models, dig into the platform examples on Platform Hunt. Of course, don’t hesitate to comment and add new examples.
 Happy Platform Hunting!
Michael and Sameer
Updated in December 2016 adding Content Distribution Platforms

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