April 03, 2004

Software Platforms

Ray Ozzie's observations about whether WinFS is a software platform, and the response from David Stutz about the nature of software platforms in general, makes interesting reading for software architects and entrepreneurs everywhere.

In line with Christensen's theory, I would assert that every "pure software" company that has had large-scale success first offered their customers enhanced productivity in the form of packaged proprietary software, followed later by a redefinition of that software as a platform to be used by customers for rapid customization and their extensibility needs.

[David Stutz - The Natural History of Software Platforms]

Chris Anderson also points to Butler Lampson's presentation on components (ppt) which adds some very useful insignts too.

Another good read on the subject is Joel Spolsky's Platforms article from a while ago.

I would agree with David here. The ultimate long term goal of every software startup is to turn an idea into a product, which over time they want to become a platform and generate an ecosystem around it. Of course many startups fail to make it all the way through that game plan, for a variety of reasons.

Entry categories: Architecture
Posted by Jorgen Thelin at April 3, 2004 11:03 AM - [PermaLink]
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