A platform may be hardware and/or software offering some valuable utility to draw others to develop hardware and/or software and/or services specifically compatible with it. This then deepens and extends the value of the platform. Examples include Apple iPhone, Google Android, ARM architecture, Salesforce, and Ethereum.
Open protocols can enable and possibly encourage decentralization. However, platform owners may pursue a strategy known as embrace, extend and extinguish. They come to centralize governance of the protocol’s application through the platform’s network effects, and impair interoperability to the disadvantage of competitors.
- Platform Cooperativism Consortium
- Masnick, M. (2019). Protocols, Not Platforms: A Technological Approach to Free Speech. Knight First Amendment Institute.
- Platform toolkit. Boundaryless.
- New Foundations of Platform-Ecosystem Thinking. Executive Summary. Boundaryless. (2020)