Why Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook Are Critical To Your Business – Age of The Platform

For the last 25 years or so, the world of business technology has revolved around computer hardware vendors (dominated by PC’s), Intel processors (remember how you and your buddy would compare who had the biggest and fastest processor), and Microsoft Windows.

These three pillars dominated the computer industry and in large part were the catalyst for all other computer accessories and software (QuickBooks would not be around without Windows). While there are still significant investments in computers and Windows, things are changing.

There is a shift happening – as Phil Simon writes, in his book  “The Age of the Platform“. The shift has moved to online applications and mobile technology.

Platforms are very important to YOUR business and daily life as it’s the platform that you’ll be working with, in and around more and more and less the traditional computer and Windows environments.

Let’s consider your phone.

You really don’t care what phone you have as long as you can access all the data you need and do all the cool things you want to do.  It appears that Apple and Google have so far dominated this space.

Much of your phone features are NOT based on the particular phone hardware you have (at first it was due to Apple’s iPhone) but not it’s based on the platform you are using.

Facebook to connect to friends (or market to customers), Apple (to use their iPad, iPhone, ebooks and other content), Amazon.com (yeah you buy books from them but many developers, who are building many of the services you use are building these services on top of Amazon.com’s servers) and Google (from search to online advertising services to email and collaboration).

Do you see how your world has changed to the age of the platform.

While you might think this is a bit “geeky” and it is, understanding these platforms will help you understand how to be more competitive and understand where your next competitor is coming from – they’re going to be the next company that can leverage one of these platforms (or another platform) to compete better against you.

Being able to leverage platforms gives you several advantages, similar to how we leveraged the Windows / PC platform of the last 25 years:

  • There is an ecosystem of users that all know how to leverage the platform(s)
  • There is an ecosystem of tech experts who can help you leverage the platform(s)
  • Added value services and features (and products) can be added to the platform(s) and be sold or just added for enhanced customer service or business functionality or to acquire new customers
  • The platform does the heavy lifting of computing and processing while your value add is how you leverage the resulting information or data
  • As the value of the platform increases your value (individually or as a business) increases the more you leverage it

Do you get it? We are in “The Age of the Platform“, understand it and you’ll succeed. Miss it and you’ll be beaten by someone else and/or another company that gets it.

avatar

About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com & Infusionsoft. Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook

  • J. Leslie Booth

    Excellent information.  It’s what I’ve been saying for the last 8 years. We’re just not smack in the middle of it’s hatch!

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      Explain…? which hatch?

      • J. Leslie Booth

        Ramon …  

         The term, ‘hatch’ refers to the stage of the newly emerged aquatic insect – as they fly above the water or over some object over land.  There is a lot of buzzing and bobbing going on, but the insects at this time are in the sub-imago stage: they are not adult and incapable of mating.  They must go through another instar BEFORE they can mate.

        So, despite all the movement and activity… they really can’t do anything of value yet: not until they can mate.  Of course, they DO provide food for fish and airborne predators.. so they aren’t totally useless.

        The primary point, though, of their existence, at the moment is:  Hatch-Mate-Die.  Pretty much tells the tale of the aquatic insect. And pretty much the condition of computing for the last 25 years.  A lot of buzzing and bobbing.  Shuffling and re-arranging of the basic config, tools, applications, methods and the like … but not really getting too far away from the template. Shall we say, boring!? !

        The ‘not smack in the middle’ means we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg of potential for the use of independent computing platforms.

        The idea – as you alluded to – for independent platform computing –  has been around for a long time. But the limits of the tools and most importantly, ‘the users’ … had prevented it’s adoption and corresponding development.

        The advent of the ‘iTool’ changed that; and did so with a rapidity that surprised even those in the midst of the events.  

        For the first time there was a more robust (aka, mature) user – those who were familiar with computing – having access to a truly engaging tool – with truly useful (let alone usable!) software and functions.  What a nexus of events!!!

        The ‘perfect storm’ of technology meets man and man “Get’s It!” and there’s really something to ‘DO’ with the whole package.  Bingo! We have a winner…!  

        Finally .. some MATING can occur.  This is what causes populations to rise.  In the case of the topic of your article .. USES in Platforms: specifically .. Independent, Cloud, Alternative … whatever.  They are all outside and forever weaned from the PC desktop box.

        Like the advent of the automobile.

        People have been moving around for some time.  But when Henry Ford put his little black car on the road, there was almost immediately both a use, need and access fulfillment underway.  A serious lurch forward occurred nearly overnight with the introduction of the Ford automobile.

        Roads really sucked, but that was only a momentary delay. Roads to meet the demand were made… right along with the technology to make the roads, the cars and the activities of their use, even better.

        This is the type of nexus we find ourselves at today.  

        Finally, what has been envisioned for 45 years, is now possible and the limits beyond are only bound by the boundless limits of human imagination yet to be imagined.   Oh as we hear said, “Imagine the Possibilities!” 

  • J. Leslie Booth

    Ramon …  

     The term, ‘hatch’ refers to the stage of the newly emerged aquatic insect – as they fly above the water or over some object over land.  There is a lot of buzzing and bobbing going on, but the insects at this time are in the sub-imago stage: they are not adult and incapable of mating.  They must go through another instar BEFORE they can mate.

    So, despite all the movement and activity… they really can’t do anything of value yet: not until they can mate.  Of course, they DO provide food for fish and airborne predators.. so they aren’t totally useless.

    The primary point, though, of their existence, at the moment is:  Hatch-Mate-Die.  Pretty much tells the tale of the aquatic insect. And pretty much the condition of computing for the last 25 years.  A lot of buzzing and bobbing.  Shuffling and re-arranging of the basic config, tools, applications, methods and the like … but not really getting too far away from the template. Shall we say, boring!? !

    The ‘not smack in the middle’ means we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg of potential for the use of independent computing platforms.

    The idea – as you alluded to – for independent platform computing –  has been around for a long time. But the limits of the tools and most importantly, ‘the users’ … had prevented it’s adoption and corresponding development.

    The advent of the ‘iTool’ changed that; and did so with a rapidity that surprised even those in the midst of the events.  

    For the first time there was a more robust (aka, mature) user – those who were familiar with computing – having access to a truly engaging tool – with truly useful (let alone usable!) software and functions.  What a nexus of events!!!

    The ‘perfect storm’ of technology meets man and man “Get’s It!” and there’s really something to ‘DO’ with the whole package.  Bingo! We have a winner…!  

    Finally .. some MATING can occur.  This is what causes populations to rise.  In the case of the topic of your article .. USES in Platforms: specifically .. Independent, Cloud, Alternative … whatever.  They are all outside and forever weaned from the PC desktop box.

    Like the advent of the automobile.

    People have been moving around for some time.  But when Henry Ford put his little black car on the road, there was almost immediately both a use, need and access fulfillment underway.  A serious lurch forward occurred nearly overnight with the introduction of the Ford automobile.

    Roads really sucked, but that was only a momentary delay. Roads to meet the demand were made… right along with the technology to make the roads, the cars and the activities of their use, even better.

    This is the type of nexus we find ourselves at today.  

    Finally, what has been envisioned for 45 years, is now possible and the limits beyond are only bound by the boundless limits of human imagination yet to be imagined.   Oh as we hear said, “Imagine the Possibilities!” 

    • http://Smallbiztechnology.com Ramon Ray

      J, thanks for your substantive comments…THANK YOU!!!