What makes a platform brilliant? Tim O’Reilly suggests platforms have the following characteristics:
- Platforms spread when they are ubiquitous and barriers to entry are low.
- Communications oriented. Strong platforms establish and document the rules of communication early so that all members know how to communicate with each other.
- Rules should create an architecture of participation. Participation is easy with simple elements.
- Platforms establish clearly defined boundaries (an api) with clearly defined extensions layers (third-party apps).
- Extending the platform is simple with permissionless extensibility.
- Platforms are “open enough”
- Simple solutions allow for incredible evolution.
- Big point: people should be able to innovate on top of your platform without ever consulting you.
- Successul platforms drive using data. “If Google were a restaurant, they would be photographing the plates.
You can listen to Tim O'Rielly's full talk here.