Nov 7, 2008

Thoughts on Platform Strategy from Google, MySpace, Facebook, and Microsoft

Max Levchin (Slide) hosted a panel on the platform with Vic Gundotra (Google), Amit Kapur (COO MySpace), David Treadwell (Microsoft), and Elliot Schrage (Facebook).

It's funny seeing these guys on stage. On Wednesday, I asked the Microsoft guy to "keep it down" during one of the sessions.

  • They developed their platform on open web technologies.
  • There are different levels of platform, some that are application-specific and others that are more general.
  • They are interested in advancing the capabilities in the underlying platform, such as the web browser.
  • In the battle of Windows vs the Web, the Web has won.
  • The platform: (1) drives activity in the ecosystem by enabling users to contribute, drives the creation of new ecosystems, such as virtual goods, and (3) is a great marketing vehicle.
  • The platform allows developers to create new engaging experiences and monetize those experiences.
  • The Travel Channel developed a Facebook application that generates more traffic than their dedicated web property.
  • Feedback from developers is critical.
  • 400,000 developers signed up for the Facebook platform, which far exceeded the goals from the original business plan.
  • Facebook announced a collaboration with Salesforce at the Dreamforce conference.
  • Building a platform with 3 goals: (1) comprehensive platform, (2) choice, so you can take what you like, and (3) take advantage of computing power available on the client.
  • As you introduce new versions of the platform, compatibility with previous versions is important.

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