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Products Over Platforms

Products Over Platforms

In the two years since the publication of The Age of the Platform, I have met some pretty smart cookies. At the top of that list, though, is Marshall Van Alstyne, a MIT and Boston University professor and student of platforms.

Watch his eDay keynote here. It's a riveting talk rife with examples on how platforms are overtaking products.

The slides from his keynote are here:

eDay - Marshall van Alstyne - MIT Read More

Thoughts on Ballmer, the Consumerization of IT, and Platforms

Thoughts on Ballmer, the Consumerization of IT, and Platforms

In the book, I write about the cardinal importance of the Consumerization of IT. In short, it's been huge.

Think about that in the context of the forthcoming retirement of Steve Ballmer. As Derek Thompson writes in The Atlantic:

Steve Ballmer made some very bad things. But his tenure will probably be judged by the things he didn't make and the big picture he didn't see. Microsoft used to be

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Amazon and Frenemies

Amazon and Frenemies

The Age of the Platform is causing some interesting ripples, and not just with consumers.

The enterprise is starting to pay attention to the threat posed by the Gang of Four.

Exhibit A: Oracle's new partnership with Microsoft.

I for one never thought that Steve Ballmer and Larry Ellison would walk down any type of aisle, but these tealeaves aren't terribly hard to leave. Each fears Amazon–and it should.

I know plenty of startup

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The Future of Facebook

The Future of Facebook

In the last 18 months, I've thought more and more about the Gang of Four and The Age of the Platform. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are clearly dominant but I'm starting to see cracks in Facebook. The other companies were started as businesses and we're used to paying them. Not so with Zuck's baby. Turning users into customers isn't easy, nor is increasing the number of ads they see.

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The Problem, Dear Marissa, Lies Not Within Yahoo!

The Problem, Dear Marissa, Lies Not Within Yahoo!

Marissa Mayer knew what she was getting into. She's getting big bucks to turn around the once-mighty Yahoo!

From my standpoint, the company's problem is very simple.

Yahoo! has not really embraced platform thinking. Unlike Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and scores of others, Yahoo! doesn't really encourage external innovation. Until the company does, I'm not betting on a turnaround. In other words, the problem isn't inside Yahoo! It's outside–and no internal

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Is Facebook Blowing It?

Is Facebook Blowing It?

Want to share something on Facebook with your followers?

Well, it may start to cost you, at least according to an interesting piece on WallBlog. From the article:

High profile Facebook users are growing increasingly frustrated at what they see as the social network gaming the system in order to encourage people to pay to promote their content.

It kind of reminds me of the effect of Google algorithm changes on

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Relevance

Relevance

On Forbes recently, Darcy Travlos wrote an interesting piece entitled Importance of Being a Platform (Apple, LinkedIn, Amazon, eBay, Google, Facebook).

It's gratifying to see major publications run pieces on the central premise of your book nearly 18 months after it was published. It's particularly hard staying ahead of the technology/business curve these days, what with nearly constant change taking place. With the exception of Groupon (covered in the chapter

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Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone

Let He Who Is Without Sin Cast The First Stone

From a recent ComputerWorld piece:

Microsoft yesterday confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it's installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another.

The move is a change from past Office end-user licensing agreements (EULAs), experts said, and is another way Microsoft is pushing customers, especially consumers, to opt

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If All Else Fails, Smear

If All Else Fails, Smear

Microsoft is back at it with its Google smear campaign. Google employees are reading individual emails to serve up better ads.

Or so Ballmer et. al would have you believe.

Bullocks!

To my knowledge, Google employees don't read any Gmail messages. Rather, algorithms serve up ads to support free products. This is the essence of the freemium model.

Do the math on the number of emails sent. Does Google employ a team of monkeys

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On eBay and Platforms

On eBay and Platforms

Charlie Rose did an interesting interview with eBay CEO John Donahoe last night. Donahoe clearly understands the importance of platforms, and his honesty about missing key trends like social media is nothing if not refreshing. What's more, admitting that Skype didn't work--and explaining why--is not something I would expect from someone in his position.

In The Age of the Platform, I clearly draw a line between eBay and the rest of

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