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Tech Cocktail Interview

Read my inteview with Kira Newman on The Age of the Platform.
Apr | 30 | 2012

Apr | 30 | 2012

techcocktailKira Newman of Tech Cocktail recently interview me about the book. Here’s an excerpt:

Last May, Google’s Eric Schmidt named 4 technology big shots with skyrocketing growth as the “Gang of Four”: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and (of course) Google.

In his book The Age of the Platform, four-time author and tech/management consultant Phil Simon explains what these companies have in common. In short, they have built powerful platforms, made up of technologies plus a network of partners and users. Think Apple’s devices + software + app store + developers and fanboys from around the world.

In the interview below, Simon considers how these giants are different and what startups can learn from them.

Tech Cocktail: What are the major differences between Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google?

Phil Simon: One of the biggest differences to me is this notion of first-mover advantage. So, for instance, I’m sure know that Facebook wasn’t the first social network…. When you go back to 2004-2005, when you needed a .edu domain to have a Facebook account before it was open to the general public, Zuckerberg was literally telling schools that were clamoring for Facebook, “We’re not ready for you yet.” Now, think about how prescient that is. He’s basically saying, “If you use Facebook now, it’s going to suck and you’re never going to use it again.” I remember Friendster, 2001-2002, and it was such a cool concept. But here’s the problem with Friendster – it was way too slow … so Zuckerberg was saying, “We will come to you when we’re ready, and not before then.” And that to me underscores the fact that it’s not about being first.

To read the whole interview, click here.

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