Ever wonder why Bill Gates is so determined to establish Windows as choice of platform for development ? So what is it that Palm and FaceBook insist on building strategy around development platform ? Software platform is like a brand that takes time to nurture and to establish but once it reaches critical mass acceptance, it provides a strong barrier of entry to competitors. No matter how innovative a competitor, many will think twice of committing resources developing solution using a less-popular platform due to uncertainty and lack of market initially. It is always a chick and egg problem. Developers will reluctant to develop application for a software platform unless there is already a high-growth market in it.
On the other hand, software platform vendors will find it hard to sustain the investment and commitment until there are sufficient developers and investors who are willing to hedge on them. Yet, things are not at all gloomy for those mavericks who want to build software platform to ensure sustainability and eventually profitability because a strong brand will attract more capital and talented developers who in turn create a network effect. The onus is on the software platform vendors to deliver the X-Factors that make their software platform conducive enough to attract attention of investors and software developers. Ultimately, the survivability of a software platform is ensured by creating a profitable and potential market for both investors and application developers.
So how does one build a software platform and drive a business strategy around it ? Many can just start building software platform and keep their fingers crossed, and overcome whatever come their way or one can be more prudent by learning from the experience and knowledge of others who have been there before.
So for those who want to understand and aspire to build a effective software platform, there is free 408 pages pdf ebook by the courtesy of Creative Common License, which also comes in printed book format, that meticulously researched various successful software platforms like Palm, Windows, Linux, Apple, and generalized those findings into valuable recommendations and insights.
The book Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries
have all information one need to understand and build enduring software platform. Start reading it and find out what it takes to compete in the competitive landscape.
File: InvisibleEngines.pdf (4mb).