Isn’t every startup like a platform?

Great article, looks to be a series I think, about platforms. This is from Ryan – ex twitter exec.

http://sarver.org/2013/09/26/what-is-a-platform/

I guess my angle here is I tend to think of any startup as a platform. It may not be that it fits the exact description for how the tech industry defines a platform but I like to think of the problems I work on as a platform play. It helps me in taking the long view since I think unless you are incredible lucky, like 3 year old instagram, most startups will be at it a while.

As I like to tell people – it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Most platforms take the view of apps or software stacks that are available for developers to build on and the effect of this creates a network effect to further drive the platform. So iOS, facebook, twitter, microsoft, android and others are listed by Ryan as examples of platforms under the common agreement for how platforms are defined. All good – I won’t argue with that premise.

But when it comes to building your startup, no matter what it is – I think this platform methodology can help you define things to work on and focus on. I like this line:

This created a very powerful network effect that drove growth of both sides of the business (developers and users) where growth of one side directly benefited the other.

I think about how the growth on one side directly benefits some other side of your startup. So if you think of all the sides or facets of your startup – you can think about how work on one side can directly benefit another side – find ways to see if the network effect is at all applicable to your startup.

So when I think of spuul – I think of it as a platform for India video consumption and all the sides of the business are broken down in ways to allow me to see the overall product as a platform and to then focus my efforts on figuring how the sides of the platform can feed off each other.

Product management means many things to many different people – I will talk about my theory on it all later – it more closely resembles chaos theory than anything super organized. I realize that breaks a lot of know product management constructs right out of the gate but the craft, yes it is a craft, of making a digital product is an evolving field with many different ways to skin the cat. If I look at all the ways to skin a problem – looking at my product as a platform helps me to focus my efforts.

Looking forward to more from Ryan on this subject and seeing where I can apply it at work.

Also going to read this :: http://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/content/9780262050852_Download_the_full_text.pdf

back to work…

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