Thursday, May 10, 2012

Does everyone (except Google) have a platform strategy?

#bizarch The obvious ones - Apple, Amazon, Microsoft

General comments

"The new market disruption is the migration of a large number of demanding customers away from phones-as-voice-products to phones-as-computing-products. The low-end disruption is the migration of a large number of less demanding customers from branded phones to unbranded, commodity phones. ... The new market disruption is evidenced by the shift of fortunes to Apple and Samsung and away from every other device maker." Horace Dediu, The phone market in 2012: a tale of two disruptions (May 2012)
"Apple is the most valuable company in technology (and indeed in the world) because it integrates hardware, software and services. It’s the first, and only, company to do all these three well in service of jobs that the vast majority of consumers want done." Horace Dediu, Which is best: hardware, software or services? (May 2012)


Disney

Back in 2006, people like Hagel thought that Steve Jobs didn't understand platforms. Maybe he didn't then, but he certainly caught up later. 

eBay


Elsevier


Nike


Nokia


Walmart


and finally Google

Steve Yegge compares Google with Amazon: Google has a lot of things in its favour, but its platform strategy is not one of them. See my comment Google as a Platform (NOT) (Oct 2011) 
  • "Page and his management team have mandated that all Googlers focus on seven business areas, and that they don’t look to expand Google’s reach beyond these core initiatives." Farhad Manjoo, Google's Grand Plan (Slate, March 2012)
  • "Page's emphasis on streamlining Google's product line has made the company's thousands of employees focused on how -- and if -- a tool adequately fulfills users' needs." Bianca Bosker, Google's Future (Huffington Post, March 2012)
 That's not a platform strategy, that's a traditional product portfolio strategy!

2 comments:

pure said...

hi there: very helpful for me
Have you seen/heard of a an open-source PaaS?

Also, have you stumbled on a PaaS comparative analysis? e.g. what to watchout for

I ask, because I do enjoy using force.com (salesforce.com PaaS) but it is proprietary. I like it because it shifts IT IP into front liners hands, so they can mock up an app quickly, rather than create a big spreadsheet to help them with the opportunity they detected.

So I am looking for an open-source PaaS.

I also thought Google maybe an option. doesn't look like from this post.

The bigger sense, is that instead of enterprise pre-jigsawed CRM/ERP SaaS apps like salesforce.com, oracle or SAP even....

soon... the new enterprise suite
could be
widget-styled CRM PaaS, the open-source PaaS being the backbone.

where each person, like my iphone, i just grab the widgets for my role (build my own activity stream)

The integrations between the widgets, is using "service-hooks / streaming APIs", so they all talk to each other...

And Inspector windows, drag/drop on dashboard grid to create my own "workspace".

so
> essentially I have everything in my context.
> as my business evolves, I flick the widgets (just like on my iphone, i change my apps accordingly)

see anything?
or am I off with the pixies?

Richard Veryard said...

I'm not saying that Google's services aren't going to be useful. Google is a very large and powerful company, and it produces a lot of stuff that other people may find valuable (and perhaps profit from more than Google itself does). And a platform of the kind "pure" is talking about may well emerge in the Google ecosystem without much planning on Google's part. From that point of view, it may not matter very much whether Google itself knows what it is doing.

But there are several things that have to happen if you want to get all these widgets to work properly together without any hassle on the consumer side - not only technical standards but also shared semantics - and if Google isn't going to orchestrate and fund this effort, it may just take a bit longer to emerge.