Why Too Big Will Do Better than Platform: A Theory

Why my sales of my fifth book may exceed those of my fourth.
Mar | 4 | 2013

Mar | 4 | 2013

trailerFor a bunch of reasons, I wouldn’t have bet that sales of my new book would ultimately exceed sales of my fourth.

And I might be wrong. Really wrong.

I found out the other day that pre-orders of Too Big to Ignore are good. Really good.

I was talking about this with my friend Terri Griffith. As she is wont to do, Terri made an incisive observation: All organizations can theoretically use Big Data, but how many of them are wiling and able to blow up their business models? In other words, how easy is it for large, mature companies to redefine themselves? Poseurs can drop the word platform all they want at conferences and in the marketing copy, but calling it a duck isn’t the same as being a duck. Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other companies mentioned in The Age of the Platform are still the exception, not the rule.

On the other hand, embracing Big Data doesn’t require organizations to adopt an entirely new modus operandi. Big Data doesn’t necessarily force organizations to attempt to make money in fundamentally different ways, although it may prove find that old methods no longer function as well as they once did.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ll still bet on companies that function as true platforms over those that don’t. Maybe, from a book sales’ standpoint, Big Data is easier for CXOs to get behind. Note, however, that it’s flat-out wrong to think of Big Data as a standalone project (IT or otherwise). And if more people view Big Data as a big deal, then maybe sales of Too Big to Ignore will surprise me.

They have so far.


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