Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and (yes) Google are all product giants, but they're also in the platform game. This week, we're highlighting the differences between platform-driven and product- (or pipeline-) driven businesses/services.
Amazon especially has dominated cloud computing services with its AWS (Amazon Web Services). Here at Truss, we use AWS all the time. ALL THE TIME. And many of our clients do too. AWS facilitates our work by allowing us to be flexible, lean, and move quickly. But if you think about Amazon's beginnings as a book marketplace, it's kind of surprising that it's now one of the preeminent on-demand computing platforms. So when a Trussel shared a post about Amazon's shift to platform services, it got us thinking about how much we rely on platforms already and how they're a growing part of our industry.
This post was accidentally publicly posted by Steve Yegge in 2011. It's been a while--Google has become a much bigger platform player since 2011--and the author's definitely verbose, but it's still relevant. Read Stevey's Google Platforms Rant on Google+.
From the Harvard Business Review: Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy. This is a quick rundown of how businesses that traffic in platforms have been on the rise, and how their unique strengths and needs are changing the environment for pipeline-driven businesses.
This post from Forbes describes differences between the two types of services and how platforms are emerging into a more expansive economic role: What's the difference between a Software Product and a Platform?
Lastly, here's VP of Product at Optimizely about common pitfalls that product startups make when moving towards platform-driven model: Making the Shift to Platform Product Management.