I have been having an interesting discussion at forumoxford where I said (in context of Twitter) -
The telecom industry never sees a platform until it eats their lunch ..
Let me explain .. and this thinking forms a key part of my strategy/consulting to industry and government
The Telecoms industry never sees a platform until it eats their lunch…
There is an excellent book called ‘What would Google do’
Paul Golding blogged about it and I recommend that we all read it.
Or wait for a new book from me called Open Mobile
Telcoms sees everything in terms of ‘directly making money’
Google (and the web) sees the same thing as a platform
A platform merely enables
It creates (unpredictable) services which have a business model
The platform itself has a transactional business model
Increasingly as services get decoupled from the network, they become abstracted to higher levels of the stack
They become global
They enable services which are also global and are often not as ‘perfect’ as the equivalent ‘telecoms’ system
The telecoms system is costly. It takes a long time to interconnect globally
the equivalent ‘web’ system is free and global. It is not perfect(it is best case)
But once the ‘platform’ emerges – then the provider creates a transactional model on top of it
Think of Cell id databases(decouple location)
Think of appstores(decouple billing)
Think of skype(decouple voice)
Think of Twitter(decouple messaging BUT a lot more as many people have said)
On the telecoms side, the company who understands this best is Nokia
On the Web side, it is Google
Now think of Twitter as a platform
The whole point of a platform is – it does not know what it’s business model is and the edge of the network thinking(which drives the Web) creates new(as yet unknown services) which provide the business model
Which makes me say that the Telecoms industry(sadly) does not see a platform until it is too late.
That’s the same logic which underpins the other thread I posted today
The phone becomes a magic wand to the cloud services: Mobile sensor based interface to the cloud to jump start the Internet of things .. i.e. network layer interconnect is not easy for Internet of things – service layer connectivity is. Although it is imperfect, it will be global.
It’s the same story played out again and again in different scenarios ..