The Age of the Platform

How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business

Over the last five years, four companies have ascended to absolutely astounding heights. They are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, aka the Gang of Four. Yes, these companies excel via their superior use of technology. They have built incredible ecosystems. And they’ve embraced partnerships and external innovation.

Beyond all of this, the Gang of Four has embraced an entirely new way of doing business: the platform.

A platform is simply a set of integrated planks. The most powerful platforms today have two things in common:

  • They are rooted in equally powerful technologies—and their intelligent usage. In other words, they differ from traditional platforms in that they are not predicated on physical assets, land, and natural resources.
  • They benefit tremendously from vibrant ecosystems (read: partners, developers, users, customers, and communities).

While platforms inhere a great deal of potential commercial appeal and applications, they do not exist simply as a means for companies to hawk their wares.

At their core, platforms today are primarily about consumer utility and communications. Finally, because consumer tastes change much faster than business’ tastes, platforms today must adapt very quickly—or face obsolescence.

A Different Business Model

In the 1990s, platforms and ecosystems were not nearly as powerful, robust, and vibrant as they are today:

As I demonstrate in the book, it’s these connections between and among platforms and planks that allow Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google to do such amazing things. Platforms enable them to innovate so quickly and profoundly, deploy new features so rapidly, and create and dominate new markets.

Welcome to the Age of the Platform.

The New Small covered small businesses that could do things that many larger companies cannot.

After the publication of that text, I started asking myself the following questions: If I had to work for a large enterprise, which one(s) would they be and why? That is, which large companies are acting like small ones? Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google quickly came to mind. They don’t let their size inhibit their innovation. Plus, everyone was talking about “platforms”, to this day one of the most bastardized business terms in the vernacular.

As I researched each company, I discovered that they follow very similar business models (read: a platform). The book examines the importance of the platform.

Factoids

Over the course of two painful days in May of 2011, I churned out over 8,000 words of the manuscript in a hotel in Las Vegas. I was looking at homes when food poisoning felled me late one night. Those next two days were hell. Stubborn and afraid to venture outside of my room, I decided to make the situation work for me.

This book took my career to a new level. As of early 2014, sales have exceeded 12,000 units–not an easy thing to do these days. In 2012, it won an Axiom business technology book award. It was translated into Korean in 2013 and the Indonesian version is coming in 2014.

Listen to the introduction of the book by clicking below. If you like, you can download it here.

Click here to go to the separate site for the book. Unlike the site for The New Small, I still blog there from time to time with the occasional crosspost on this one.

You bought the book. You read the book. You like the book. You think that others will benefit. You like to network. As I did with my previous book, I have set up an referral program for The Age of the Platform. The book would benefit the following groups of people:

  • Conference attendees
  • Universities and colleges, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Startup Incubators and Co-working spaces
  • Employees
  • Other organizations

You’re a nice person, generous even. Like everyone else, you have bills to pay. How can you make money off of The Age of the Platform?

People and organizations that purchase bulk quantities will receive hefty discounts of off the book’s $19.95 list price. However, there’s still some room to help people who are helping me:

  • Referrals of 10-99 copies receive $.50 cents/per book USD.
  • Referrals of 100-499 copies receive $.75 cents/per book USD.
  • Referrals greater than 500 copies receive $1.00/per book USD.

Notes

  • While I sincerely appreciate all referrals, it’s probably not worth your time and mine for me to cut a check of a few dollars if you refer a sale of fewer than ten copies of the book to me.
  • Referral checks will be cut after book orders are placed and checks are received.

Contact me to get started.

Check out the book’s Facebook page and Google+ page.

Buy the Book

Get a Sample

Trailer

Related Posts

Big Bang Disruption by Downes and Nunes

A look at a new book on innovation and disruption.

More

Where Platforms and Big Data Collide

Looking at two of the most important concepts in business today.

More

How Platform Thinking Can Improve Healthcare

Healthcare is ripe for the very type of disruption that platforms can effect.

More

Evernote’s Platform Struggles

As the company is learning, building a platform is much easier said than done.

More

Praise

Essential reading on the state of business today–and where it is going. Ignore this book at your own peril.

–Adrian C. Ott, award-winning author, The 24-Hour Customer

As someone who pores over countless business books each year, The Age of the Platform was a joy to read. Frankly, I can’t stand the overly long, formulaic books that have only a couple of new ideas in the first two chapters and then fill the rest of the book with ponderous examples that barely advance the thinking. The Age of the Platform is different. It makes valuable points throughout. A joy to read.

–Brian Sommer ZDNet blogger and founder of TechVentive

The Age of the Platform is the kind of book to read if you want to better understand the Internet and how your company can fit into it and create a business model to profit from it.

–Anita Campbell, co-author of Visual Marketing

Remarkably insightful. A must-read for anyone interested in creating change-tolerant organizations.

–Robert Charette, President, ITABHI Corp

Nothing short of a 21st-century business survival guide.

–Mike Faith, CEO & President, Headsets.com

Exceptionally researched and written. A landmark book.

–Jane Applegate, author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business

Profound. Important. A groundbreaking text.

–Jay Miletsky, Founder and CEO, MyPod Studios and author of Perspectives on Marketing
Return to Top ▲Return to Top ▲