More and more we see software products that can be categorized as platforms. There are many examples from big tech companies such as:
By the way, some of those companies have more than one single platform such as Google, Apple and Amazon.
Besides those big technology companies, there are also the most recent examples:
There are also examples of platforms that are not necessarily based in technology, like shopping malls, which places stores, restaurants and movie theatres next to people who want to buy, eat and have fun.
Platforms are systems that get more valuable as more people use them.
In other words, they are systems strongly based in the concept of network effect. Network effect is the effect by which a given software is more valuable when more users use the software.
There are two types of platforms:
The following is an example of a technological platform with 5 sides:
It is important not to confuse the concept of platform in the product context with the concept of technical or computer platforms. A computer platform is any computer environment where software applications are going to run at. In the product context, as we defined previously, we name it as a product platform when there are gain to users the more users are using the product.
In my next post, I’ll talk about software product management.
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