Marshall Van Alstyne

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Marshall W. Van Alstyne
Marshall Van Alstyne in the On Point studio. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Born1962 (age 60–61)
CitizenshipUnited States of America
Alma materYale
Known forTwo-sided markets
Platform economics
Cyberbalkanization Business-to-business platforms
Scientific career
FieldsInformation Systems
InstitutionsBoston University
MIT Sloan School of Management

Marshall W. Van Alstyne (born March 28, 1962) is a professor at Boston University and research associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.[1] He co-developed the theory of two-sided markets with Geoffrey G Parker.[2] His work focuses on the economics of information. This includes a sustained interest in information markets and in how information and technology affect productivity with a new emphasis on “platforms” as an extension of the work on two-sided markets.

Early life and education[edit]

Marshall Van Alstyne was born in Columbus, Ohio. He received a B.A. in Computer Science from Yale University  in 1984. He then moved to Software Systems Developer role at Martin Marietta Data Systems in Colorado and later Associate Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Massachusetts, before starting his M.S. and Doctorate programs. He obtained his MS in Management in 1991 and Ph.D. in Information Systems and Economics in 1998, both at the MIT Sloan School of Management.[2]


Alstyne is a professor at Boston University and research associate at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. Marshall co-organizes and co-chairs the annual MIT Platform Strategy Summit, an executive meeting on platform-centered economics and management, and he organizes and co-chairs  the Platform Strategy Research Symposium, the premier conference on Platform research.[2]

After finishing his PhD, he joined as an assistant professor at the University of Michigan,[3] and later joined Boston University in 2004.


He is the co-author of Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You.[4] The book describes the information technologies, standards, and rules that make up platforms, and are used and developed by the biggest and most innovative global companies.[5] Forbes included it among 16 must-read business books for 2016, describing it as "a practical guide to the new business model that is transforming the way we work and live."[6]


  • National Science Foundation Faculty Career Award (1999)[7]
  • Thinkers 50 Digital Thinking Award (2019) – Ranked #36 among management scholars globally[8]
  • INFORMS Practical Impact Award (2020) – For research with real world impact [9]
  • Thinkers 50 Digital Thinking Award (2021) – Award shared with Geoff Parker[8]


He is the son of constitutional law scholar William Van Alstyne.[10]


  1. ^ "MIT Sloan CIO Symposium: Marshall Van Alstyne". MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-30.
  2. ^ a b c "Marhsall Van Alstyne". Questrom School of Business at Boston University. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  3. ^ "Boston University School of Management Profile".
  4. ^ "Platform Revolution". W. W. Norton. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  5. ^ Farhad Manjoo (20 January 2016). "Tech's Frightful 5 Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future". The New York Times. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  6. ^ David Burkus (10 January 2016). "16 Must-Read Business Books For 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 22 August 2022.
  7. ^ "Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards by State (FY 1999)".[dead link]
  8. ^ a b "Marshall Van Alstyne & Geoff Parker". Thinkers50 Limited. 26 September 2019. Retrieved 2021-11-17.
  9. ^ "ISS Practical Impact Award". INstitute For Operations Research and Management Science. October 2020. Retrieved 2022-12-28.
  10. ^ Roberts, Sam (2019-02-05). "William Van Alstyne, 84, Dies; Often-Cited Constitutional Scholar". Retrieved 2022-08-16.

External links[edit]