Keynote Speeches














Marshall Van Alstyne


Associate Professor/Dean's Research Fellow, Information Systems, Boston University

Marshall Van Alstyne (@InfoEcon) is coauthor of the international bestseller Platform Revolution. He is one of the world's experts on network business models and is Everett Lord Distinguished Scholar at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. He is a frequent speaker, board level advisor, and consultant to startups and global firms. His research has received half a dozen academic awards and appeared in journals such as Science, Nature and Harvard Business Review. Interviews appear regularly across Bloomberg, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. He studied computer science at Yale and information technology at MIT. He holds multiple patents; was among the first to measure the dollar value of social networks, and his theories of network businesses are taught worldwide. He is a husband and dad, who loves dogs, exercise, travel, and questions of governance.

Research: Platform Shift: How Network Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry



Giant firms like Apple, Alibaba, Facebook, Google, Tencent and Uber are inevitable. Monopolistic competition in the Internet era resembles the monopolistic competition of the industrial era but for the opposite reason. At the turn of the previous century, supply economies of scale allowed firms producing steel, oil, autos, and rail transport to drive out competition. By increasing volume, they could lower prices, which increased their volume, and lowered prices. In the current century, firms providing operating systems, search, social networks, and matching markets are also driving out competition but using the other side of the profit equation. Now firms use demand economies of scale, also called "network effects." By increasing volume, firms can increase value, which increases volume, which increases value. Network effects, however, scale more readily outside the firm than inside the firm. This inverts the functions of the firm, moving value creation from inside to outside. This changes everything we teach in business school. A shift in the source of value drives changes in marketing, human resources, IT, finance, operations, and strategy.




















Bin Gu


W. P. Carey Information Systems Associate Dean/Professor


Professor Bin Gu is Earl and Gladys Davis Distinguished Professor and associate dean of China Programs at the W P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Professor Gu’s research interests are in data analytics, online platforms, online social media and social network, mobile commerce and IT-enabled business models. His work has appeared in Management Science, MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Retailing, Decision Support Systems, Journal of Financial Service Research and other academic journals.
In addition to his research activities at the W. P. Carey School of Business, Professor Gu maintains an active international research agenda. He has received multiple research grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the NET Institute, Center for the Studies of Economic Liberty, Center for Service Leadership and National Science Foundation of China. Professor Gu teaches Emerging Technology, IT-enabled Business Model and Business Analytics Strategy across multiple online and onsite platforms at the graduate level both in the US and in China. Prior to joining ASU, Professor Gu served on the faculty at McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.
Professor Gu currently serves on the editorial boards of MIS Quarterly as a senior editor, and Information Systems Research as an associate editor. He also serves as an associate editor or program committee member of International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), INFORMS Conference on Information Systems Technology (CIST) and ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce (ACM EC).
Professor Gu's research was awarded the 2017 Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences Best Paper Award, the 2016 W P Carey Faculty Research Award, the 2012 an 2014 Emerald Citations of Excellence Award, the 2014 Americas Conference on Information Systems Best Research-in-Progress Award, the Journal of Retailing Top Cited Article 2007-2011, the 2008 Information Systems Research Best Published Paper Award, and the 2007 International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) Best Paper-in-Track Award. Before joining academia, Professor Gu had worked for Arthur Andersen as a consultant.


Title: Information Asymmetry in Global Platforms: Evidence from the Online Labor Market


Two-sided online global platforms are typically plagued with hidden information (adverse selection) and hidden actions (moral hazard), limiting market efficiency. Situated in the context of the increasingly popular online labor markets, we conduct a series of studies investigating the effect of the implementation of an IT-enabled monitoring system to mitigate moral hazard. Our identification hinges on a natural experiment at Freelancer when it first introduced an IT-enabled monitoring system for time-based projects but not for fixed-price projects in February 2014. We employ a difference-in-differences (DID) approach to identify the treatment effect of the monitoring system implementation on various outcomes from both the employer (demand) side and the worker (supply) side, including employers’ worker choice, workers’ entry decisions and reputation premium. We find that the implementation of the monitoring system lowers the employers’ preference for bidders with a high effort-related reputation in time-based projects, and thus reduces reputation premiums and lowers the entry barrier for workers who have not yet established a reputation on the platform. However, there is no significant change in employers’ preference for bidders with a high capability-related reputation. Further, using fixed-price projects as the control group, the implementation of the monitoring system increased the number of bids on time-based projects by 23.7% (primarily from bidders with no prior experience on the platform) and reduced the transaction price in time-based projects by 6.9%. The implementation of the monitoring systems also significantly reduces the home bias phenomenon in online labor markets, wherein employers prefer workers from their home countries. Our results suggest that IT-enabled monitoring systems have a significant effect on alleviating moral hazard, reducing agency costs and statistical biases, and intensifying supply-side platform competition.