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2015/2016  BA-BHAAI1052U  The Next Uber: Economics, Strategy, Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Sharing Economy

English Title
The Next Uber: Economics, Strategy, Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Sharing Economy

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration Summer
Start time of the course Summer
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 120
Study board
Study Board for BSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Course instructor - Ted Ladd, Professor of Internet Economics and Strategy, Hult International Business School, San Francisco, ted@tedladd.com
    Sven Bislev - Department of Intercultural Communication and Management (ICM)
In case of any academic questions related to the course, please contact the course instructor or the academic director, Sven Bislev at sb.ikl@cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Managerial economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Information technology
Last updated on 01-06-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Understand principles of economics and strategy to Sharing Economy ventures and to compete against Sharing Economy ventures.
  • Critique Sharing business models
  • Describe the process to launch a new internet venture
  • Understand and contribute to a discussion on the impact of Sharing ventures on social and environmental systems
  • Comprehend the potential issues around the consumer expectations for data privacy
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites.
The Next Uber: Economics, Strategy, Technology and Entrepreneurship in the Sharing Economy:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Written sit-in exam
Individual or group exam Individual
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration 4 hours
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer, Ordinary exam: 1-5 August 2016
Retake exam: Within two months from the ordinary exam.
Aids allowed to bring to the exam Closed Book: no aids
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
If the number of registered candidates for the make-up examination/re-take examination warrants that it may most appropriately be held as an oral examination, the programme office will inform the students that the make-up examination/re-take examination will be held as an oral examination instead.
4 hour written sit-in exam with a new exam question
Course content and structure

Uber and AirBnb massively disrupted the transportation and lodging industries, respectively. Thousands of other “sharing” ventures hope to have similar impacts on other sectors. This class explores businesses that embrace collaborative consumption, where the firm's primary function is to create a new market to match pre-existing supply of underutilized assets (including skills) with potential demand. The lower costs bring entirely new customer segments into the market, especially at the base of local and global economic pyramids.


What are the economics that drive this disruption? How are these economics different for different business models and sectors? What are the early and eventual strategies that these firms are taking? What strategies could incumbent firms adopt to counter this threat? What is the link between the economics and strategy? 


These sharing firms also have dramatic implications for environmental and social issues. The success of Uber and AirBnb reduce the need for new taxis, rental cars, and hotel rooms, with concomitant reduction in carbon output, a vital step to combat climate change. However, these business models also upend traditional labor practices by reducing wages and taxes, which create social tensions. How will the sharing economy influence and be influenced by broader factor markets, regulations, and politics? 


Finally, because these ventures depend on critical mass, they require a different path to test and launch the business model. Do standard entrepreneurial techniques and financing methods work for sharing businesses?



Class 1: Business Model Canvas in Two-Sided Markets

Class 2: Lean Startup Method

Class 3: Network Effect

Class 4: Switching Costs and Lock In

Class 5: Pricing and Funding

Class 6: Internet of Things and Big Data

feedback activity: Present Biz Model of New Venture

Class 7: Counter Strategy and Dynamic Capabilities

Class 8: Negotiations

Class 9: Social Impact

Class 10: Privacy and Creepy

Class 11: Irrationality and Effectuation


Teaching methods
Lecture and in-class exercises; readings and videos from contemporary sources
Student workload
Preliminary assignment 10 hours
Classroom attendance 33 hours
Preparation 144 hours
Feedback activity 7 hours
Examination 12 hours
Further Information


Preliminary Assignment: To help students get maximum value from ISUP courses, instructors provide a reading or a small number of readings or video clips to be read or viewed before the start of classes with a related task scheduled for class 1 in order to 'jump-start' the learning process.


Feedback Activity: A feedback activitity defined by the course instructor will take place app. half-way through the course. 


The timetable is available on  http://www.cbs.dk/files/cbs.dk/isup_timetable_2016_updated.pdf


Ted has led and participated in many internet ventures, mostly recently a smartwatch company that was acquired by Google.

Expected literature


Maurya, A:  Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Work

ISBN 1449305172

O'Reilly Media, 2012



Benjamin Edelman; Michael Luca: Airbnb (A)


Harvard Business Publishing. 2012


The following additional resources will be used during the semester:


Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, John Wiley & Sons, 2010. Only chapter 1 required, which is provided as a free PDF on the authors’ website, www.businessmodelgeneration.com


Porter, M. and J. Heppelmann (2014) “How Smart, Connected Products Are Transforming Competition” Harvard Business Review, November 2014.


Groth, O, and T. Ladd (2015) “The End of Porter's Five Forces: How the internet of things and digital intermediaries will change industries” Harvard Business Manager Deutsch, June 2015.


Blank, S. (2013). Why the lean start-up changes everything. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 63-72.


Sarasvathy, S. “What makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial?” Free from the author’s website, effectuation.org


Kumar, V. “Making Freemium Work” Harvard Business Review, May 2014


"Pointers to the Future" in the Economist, October 18, 2014


“Pricing the Surge” (about Uber pricing) in the Economist, Mar 24, 2014 http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21599766-microeconomics-ubers-attempt-revolutionise-taxi-markets-pricing-surge


“There’s an app for that” (about on-demand labor) in the Economist Jan 3, 2015 http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21637355-freelance-workers-available-moments-notice-will-reshape-nature-companies-and


"Testing, testing". Economist, January 18, 2014 available at http://www.economist.com/news/special-report/21593581-launching-startup-has-become-fairly-easy-what-follows-back-breaking


“The Language of Things”, Technology Quarterly, Q3, Economist, available at http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21615067-more-and-more-devices-are-becoming-connected-will-they-speak-same


Hiding from Big Data, Technology Quarterly, Q2, Economist, available at http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21603233-it-security-increasing-commercial-use-personal-data-and-multiple


Last updated on 01-06-2016