Dr. Frank Piller at the MCPC 2105 global conference gave a keynote in which he asked the audience members to consider the most formidable competitors in the world. He offered 3 names:

  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Apple

These are amongst the most powerful brands on earth and continue to grow and dominate in ways that no other competitor has been able to copy. Dr. Piller offered that the reason these companies are so formidable is that each represents platform. He went on to say platforms beat products every time.

Let’s consider the first (and I believe last) WebOS tablet, the HP Touchpad, developed and marketed by HP in July 2011. It lasted 30 days. HP pulled the plug on it. The HP Touchpad had no platform or ecosystem relative to the then standard bearer: the Apple iPad. It was a product. The Apple iPad was part of the Apple platform.

If you simply offer a product, you are on an island, alone and clamoring for marketplace recognition. This can be a life of quiet desperation.

Entrepreneurs need to ponder this notion advanced by Dr. Frank Piller.

Thought for the week:

“Nearly 60 million people are currently displaced from their homes because of war and persecution–more than at any time since World War II. Half are children.” – New York Times, The Displaced


What do you think? I welcome your comments!

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Dave Gardner

Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, author, and blogger based in Silicon Valley. He's been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner focuses on making the complex simple around people, process and technology. Dave is the author of Mass Customization: An Enterprise-Wide Business Strategy - How Build to Order, Assemble to Order, Configure to Order, Make to Order, and Engineer to Order Manufacturers Increase Profits and Better Satisfy Customers.


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