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Peter Coles

avatar for Peter Coles

Harvard Business School
Peter Coles is a professor at Harvard Business School in the Negotiation, Organizations, and Markets Unit. Peter's research focuses on entrepreneurial market design, the study of creating for-profit marketplaces. New marketplaces often require innovations (market rules, information flows, timing adjustments, reputation mechanisms) to resolve longstanding inefficiencies (lack of market thickness, adverse selection, high transaction costs, etc). These innovations can create significant value for market participants, while at the same time offering promising business models for entrepreneurs. At HBS Peter teaches "The Online Economy: Strategy and Entrepreneurship", a second year elective course, and teaches the doctoral course “Market Design” in the Harvard Economics Department. Peter has written case studies on prediction markets at Google, strategy at Microsoft's adCenter, pricing and the "market ecosystem" at TheLadders.com, defending against competitors at Birchbox, and numerous other topics. At Harvard, Peter advises dozens of MBAs each year in launching their own start-ups. Peter graduated from Princeton University with a degree in pure mathematics and has a PhD in economics from Stanford University.


Speaking Schedule




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  • AC Select
  • SXSW Interactive Conference
  • SXSW Film Conference + Screenings
  • SXSW Music Conference
  • Venue
  • Free Stuff
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