On Platforms

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This talk discusses the reasons for why major player in IT are building platforms and what you should consider before using one as a business. Videos of the talk on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZOImQE1LPM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaCDlXwWHbw

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On Platforms

  1. 1. Why is everyone and their grandmother offering platforms ? #iforum
  2. 2. this.about <ul><li>Talk is in English </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A at the end in English/Russian </li></ul><ul><li>No code or technical details in this talk </li></ul><ul><li>Restating the obvious </li></ul>
  3. 3. @olegpodsechin <ul><li>Russia, Finland, UK, Germany … </li></ul><ul><li>Working with mediatech startups since before the bubble </li></ul><ul><li>30+ companies in total, expert on failure </li></ul><ul><li>Do technical due diligence for investors </li></ul>
  4. 4. Breaking apart the Clouds <ul><li>Software as a Service (SaaS) </li></ul><ul><li>Platform as a Service (PaaS) </li></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) </li></ul><ul><li>Coined by Tim O'Reilly (but pretty self evident) </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of services: economies of scale, ease of maintenance, seamless upgrades and better revenue model (predictable cash flow) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Software vs. Infrastructure <ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sell value, customized solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>low initial investment, higher profit margins </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>closer to the users, higher risk? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Infrastructure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sell a utility, commoditized solutions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>high initial investment, race to the bottom </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>closer to the hardware, lower risk? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Positive Network Effects <ul><li>Infrastructure: one VPS is just like another, only differentiator is price </li></ul><ul><li>Software like Dropbox can differentiate itself with the user experience & brand (consumer awareness) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also able to tap into user base for promotion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charge each user for shared storage space, but pay IaaS provider only once (value vs. utility) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Platform Initiatives <ul><li>SalesForce Force.com, Heroku acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Akshell (full disclosure: I'm helping out) </li></ul><ul><li>Google AppEngine, Microsoft Azure </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon Web Services (AWS), Linode etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Dell, HP moving into infrastructure, platforms </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why Platforms? <ul><li>A successful platform requires technology , users & developers – some have two of these covered, makes sense to leverage them </li></ul><ul><li>“ When everybody is digging for gold, you should be selling shovels” - low risk, high yield </li></ul><ul><li>Crowd source development; share common components </li></ul><ul><li>Extend ecosystem (think API++) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why not Platforms? <ul><li>Giving up control – no clear SLAs </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce technical debt – trade short term benefits for potential long term pains </li></ul><ul><li>Bait and switch – think Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Lock you in – think Amazon (without Eucalyptus) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Food for Thought <ul><ul><li>Will I be able to run my service on top of this platform in one year, two years etc.? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Thank you for listening Questions? Feedback? @olegpodsechin

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