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On Yahoo!, Tumblr, and Planks

On Yahoo!, Tumblr, and Planks

It appears as if Yahoo! is going pony up more than $1 billion for Tumblr–and the move has platform written all over it.

A hefty price to pay? You betcha, but it's a move that makes sense for Marissa Mayer et al.

Think about it. At present, there's no way for consumers to take Yahoo! in different directions. There are no Yahoo! proper apps (read: Android, iOS, and Facebook). You really can't create

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On Android and Frenemies

On Android and Frenemies

Updated 4/4/2013

In its quest to kill Apple, has Google inadvertently empowered its rivals–and created new ones?

We know that Google has created a monster in Samsung. Giving away Android has certainly hurt Apple, but what are the other consequences of the move? Now add in Facebook Home. I'm wondering if Larry Page now thinks Android is too open?

In the book, I write about the notions of coopetition and frenemies.

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The Decline of the US Postal Service

The Decline of the US Postal Service

Fairly soon, the U.S. Postal Service will cease delivering mail on Saturdays. It's expected that the move, "beginning in August, would mean a cost saving of about $2 billion annually."

But that doesn't even stop the bleeding. The USPS is losing $25 million/day--an astonishing number. 

Do the math. More cuts are coming, and prices of stamps and services will have to increase in order to make the hallowed institution financially solvent.

In the

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Should Google Be Scared?

Should Google Be Scared?

When will social search replace index search in the future--and will Google be prepared for it?

We still don't know the answer to the first question, but we got a glimpse yesterday. By all accounts, Graph Search is in very, very early beta. It's nowhere near ready for prime time. Yet, something tells me that the top brass at Google is very aware of this--and very afraid.

Microsoft made the mistake of

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The City as a Platform

The City as a Platform

The "everything as a platform" mind-set continues. Most recently, there's been talk of the city as a platform. Open Data will allow for greater connectivity, information sharing, innovation, and the like.

I like to think that I know a few things about platforms. To me, they have to be broader than just cities. Think bigger. Much bigger. The "city as a platform" mind-set might be a nice start, but I'd argue

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Amazon: A Life Saver?

Amazon: A Life Saver?

As I write in The Age of the Platform, Amazon takes a great deal of flak these days for a wide variety of reasons. Many think that it's a de facto monopoly. Independent book store owners are rife with contempt for the Seattle-based giant. For their part, investors wonder why CEO and founder Jeff Bezos seems allergic to a little thing called profits.

Say what you will about the company but many

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The Postal Service as a Platform?

The Postal Service as a Platform?

I recently spoke at Postal Vision 2020 (video coming soon). After my 30-minute speech in which I introduced the framework of The Age of the Platform, I sat on a panel moderated by Jeff Jarvis. Before concluding, Jarvis asked the panelists two questions: Is USPS now a platform? Should it try and become one? Remember, everything seems to be a platform these days. Video games. Credit cards. Cars. Think Bigger My answers: No, the USPS now as currently constituted is certainly Read More

The End of Google Plus?

The End of Google Plus?

Is it the beginning of the end of Google Plus? Adam Metz seems to think so. Whether Google+ surpasses Facebook or Twitter to me is besides the point. Google needed a viable social plank in its platform. I don't expect Google to be identified with Plus any more than I expect Amazon to be primarily known for award-winning design.

Instagram and Black Swans

Instagram and Black Swans

Does Instagram represent a formula for future startups? That might be a stretch, but check out the startup lessons from Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in this TechCrunch piece. No doubt that there's a book in the works. After all, Systrom and Krieger have create the blueprint for success, right? I have my doubts. Without discrediting the work of these guys, there's just no way that you can predict success in the Read More

Microsoft, Marketing, and the Age of the Platform

Microsoft, Marketing, and the Age of the Platform

Check out this interesting article by Alex Goldfayn on Mashable on how to fix Microsoft, a company whose stock price has stagnated over the last decade . Short answer: change the company's DNA and focus on what it's good at.

Goldfayn seems like a smart guy, but I don't buy his argument for a minute.

In the Age of the Platform, marketing is best done organically, from the ground up. Spending millions trying to

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