Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

These are some good lessons; here they are, with some comments from me:

  1. "Failure to optimize openness" - I see this a lot; the platform is 'sort of' open, but the developers hang on to key components of it (eg., 'we will only allow pre-approved content') which stifle the value.
  2. "Failure to engage developers" - I always think of that famous Steve Ballmer video. You have to engage the broader developer community to invest in it, otherwise it's a flop.
  3. "Failure to share the surplus" - everybody engaged in the platform has to win. If you favour one side over another in a buyer-seller marketplace, your platform will fail.
  4. "Failure to launch on the right side" - I'm not sure I'd say this the same way the article does. The problem is, if you have a pre-existing content monopoly, you have to find a way to break that monopoly, either by enticing existing producers into the platform (as Netflix did) or by providing viable alternatives.
  5. "Failure to put critical mass ahead of money" - I keep repeating the mantra here - companies don't acquire technologies nearly so much as they acquire audiences. If you're trying to sell a platform with no users, you have a real uphill battle.
  6. "Failure of imagination" - pretty much everyone I talk to is engaged in the existing platforms, and therefore see innovation in terms of those platforms, and as the article notes, fail to see the platform play at all.

Good article, worth the read.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 19, 2020 03:19 a.m.