Thursday, June 09, 2016

Book Review - Platform Revolution

Platform Revolution

Honestly, I don't know why I bought this book - something about the description caught my eye, but I am not a developer or an entrepreneur or for that matter a traditional business exec looking to preserve my business in a changing environment.  I'm an IT contractor, or as I like to think of myself in the dead of night when no one is around to laugh, a modern day corporate ronin wandering without master or honor from job to job (whatever helps us get up in the morning right), so I am way outside the books target demographic.  But now that I have finished it, and despite some reservations, I am glad that I did grab it.

I am not a fan of Uber, AirBNB, or the sharing / gig economy, so at first I expected to hate this book, and for the first two chapters or so I did.  This is where the authors lay out their premise that platforms are the wave of the future and all other businesses will be swept aside before them and all platforms are holy and without flaw.  I may be overstating a little, but only a little, and to be honest, it was a bit off putting.  After that though when they actually started diving into the meat of their hypothesis, the book got pretty interesting.  In a nutshell this is a book about Network Effects and how to capitalize on them, and then maximize them through good corporate, or platform governance, and transparency.  It's not exactly an instruction manual as some have claimed, but it does give you a good basis to start from, and as you read you can see where some corporate decision originated from and why they succeeded or didn't succeed.

12 chapters long the first 2 are kind of back ground material and the last 2 are reflections on policy (regulation) and the future of platforms.  While the entire book was worthwhile it was the last 2 chapters I found most interesting.  The authors have some intriguing ideas on how platforms can disrupt both government and the underlying ideas of the society and how future grwoth of the platform model will influence society.  If you are just sort of a bystander looking in like me those are the two chapters I would concentrate on.

Overall it's an interesting and informative book.  Well worth the price.  Pick it up - Read it and be prepared for unparalleled business success. (This review may contain forward looking statements that have no basis in fact)
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