You don’t need a Platform, you need One Thing That Works

A very good discussion about the promises and pitfalls of “platform thinking”. This is really an elaboration of what Mark, Will Venters, Jerry Fishenden and I have been saying for a while… platform approaches, there is a big difference between a focus on engineering, evangelism, and entrepreneurship.

Platforms are essential in any serious technology ecosystem: they can save lots of time and enable seamless experiences — but they don’t always. The central problem with building your own platform is really one of timing. A well-designed platform introduced at the right time is a godsend, but a pre-emptive platform is often a distraction that sucks up a lot of energy and money. So let’s talk ‘platforms’: what are they, why are they useful, and why are government teams attracted to them like mosquitos to a bug zapper?

And what should we do instead?