'Platform' is a word you will be hearing a lot, if you haven't been already. Everyone is investing in a platform strategy whether it drives their product, or supports their content. The word is used constantly as it nearly describes every product or feature coming out today.
Sangeet Paul Choudary is an expert in the world of platforms and through his compelling writing, he sets the landscape for defining this broadly used term:
Choudary lays out 3 layers in 'The Platform Stack' that help us define the type of platform:
Data Layer: The final layer is the data layer. Every platform uses data in some way. But in some cases, the data layer may play a more dominant role than in others. In most cases, data serves to provide relevance, matching the most relevant content/goods/services with the right users. In other cases, the value may exclusively lie in the data layer. The Nest Thermostat example, as we will revisit below, is what one would think of as a data-intensive platform, where the value is entirely in the data being aggregated." - Sangeet
The degrees in which a layer is emphasized helps us define 3 different types of platforms:
1. The Marketplace/Community Platform
2. The Infrastrucuture Platform
3. The Data Platform
I'm throughouly invested in #1, and would like to dive deeper on how this relates to what we see in the marketplace at Pressly. Visit Choudary's article to learn about #2 and #3.
The Marketplace/Community Platform
An Uber or Airbnb would fall into this category as they rely on the marketplace/community more than anything. The source that lets this platform live is the people within it. The value falls on the network.
Choudary demonstrates some excellent cases for how these stacks can mend and change over time and he provides contrast between something like Craigslist vs Airbnb:
Craiglist is built on network effects
Airbnb analyzed their data and consumer behavior before fully understanding how to create stronger network effects. Once this was accomplished, history speaks for itself.
Why You Should Care About Platforms
Platform technology is becoming the norm, and user expectations are at an all-time high.
In our world, we see the demand for this experience through content.
They want content they can read, share, and engage with, all in one place. We are in the new age of informed buyers that are well prepared to judge your offering.
In our expierence, a platform is only as good as the people within it. Before we understand how our content hubs will work, we ask ourselves 'how do people want to share content between eachother'. This enables us to foster a network/marketplace/community that is continually engaeged: