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Survival of the Fittest: Platforms Beat Products

bkirschner
Oct 20, 2015

If you chose your PC in the 1990s because you wanted specific software applications (and not based on how much you liked the operating system), or if you made the jump to an iPhone from a Blackberry a few years back, chances are a successful platform strategy won you over.

Platform strategists call the cycle in which an ecosystem of developers attracts more end users—which in turn attracts more developers (and so on)—a “network effect.” Network effects often generate hockey-stick shaped growth curves, like those of Windows and iOS.

I’ve carried a business card that (accurately) described me as a “platform strategist.”  I’ve worked on a whole team dedicated to platform strategy. The role isn’t uncommon in software companies: the notion that the basis of competition is a platform and that platform’s ecosystem rather than a stand-alone product has been familiar terrain for a long time. 

Read more of the article "Survival of the Fittest: Platforms Beat Products," which was originally published on CIO.com.

Image: Matt Hawdon/The Noun Project

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