In his latest contribution to Forbes, Alliance President Peter Strack outlines the benefits of thinking in terms of platforms versus products.
In the article, “Entrepreneurs: Think in Terms of Platforms Rather Than Products”, Strack explains that a technology platform should be:
- Scalable: removes limits to the number of customers served by creating ways to serve their customers
- Adaptable: ensures growth of audience segmentation by offering different, unique options for different, unique customers
“Don’t make all your efforts fruitless by painting yourself into a corner,” Strack advises tech entrepreneurs. Because platforms have a greater opportunity for serving more customers, they can exponentially increase an entrepreneur’s odds of success.
He goes on to include the three-step process by which entrepreneurs can assess whether their existing products would serve better as platforms. Entrepreneurs should have already defined the problem their product solves, then determine if turning their product has the potential to solve more problems than the one initially defined. The last step is the big jump from creating a product to creating a platform.
In writing this article, Peter Strack hopes to pass on the lessons he learned by adopting this line of thinking. He urges entrepreneurs to research beyond what they know and have access to.
“Getting out of jail is the most important point,” says Strack, referring to researching beyond one’s area of expertise. “It’s doing your research and reaching beyond what you know.”
The subject matter is something Peter Strack knows well, considering that Alliance’s products are platforms. Our fully customizable application exists to build on our clients’ brands, which in turn serves their clients. Our products have evolved into what they are today because of the thought process outlined in the article. The company has been very successful as a result, generating over $2 billion in reservation revenue.
Although Strack provides advice needed to create successful platforms, he warns against stretching a product’s limits beyond what is achievable. It’s important to recognize that not every potential customer will be satisfied with your platform, no matter how scalable or adaptable. If a product’s limits are exceeded, it may do more harm than good.