Creating a Platform


After reading the blog of Esther Rose Stewart I have been inspired to once again attempt to continue this blog every friday. Today its about software and next week I’m hoping to have something written about Heiddegger and Jesus, though the plan is to keep these blogs much much shorter.

I’ve read an awesome rant by a Googler ranting at Google+, the article I read is here: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/13/google_does_not_get_platforms/ and it has a link to the actual rant below. Its pretty exciting but I haven’t figured out if I’m just excited due to my own personal extreme arrogance. I’ve been told that pretty much every philosopher with their own idea tends to try and argue that their idea is something Aristotle said all along. Even if they are completely contradictory, I don’t know if I’m just reading into this post what I want but it really feels like this post reflects a “I told y ou so” to the world, it fits in with what we at the tribes online are really excited about.

That is, the importance of building an accesible platform for the church.

Now that we’re actually starting our business and business problems like, being able to pay rent are popping up we’ve had to put loads of effort into side projects. This is building small websites just to earn money, writing summaries of work for companies that ultimately we don’t intimately care about and building drupal modules to see where it goes. One thing we’ve spent quite alot of thought hours into is our killer app. What is it that we’re doing that will truly provide value? We don’t have to provide much, just enough value that someone will pay us to be able to sleep and eat!

In this article he talks a bit about killer apps. Steve mentions that Facebook’s killer app is its wall and profile. But says that the long term success of Facebook is not the app, its not a good product, its the fact its on an awesome platform. Anyone can make a wall on a profile, I could put together a facebook profile clone in about 10 minutes using Drupal but it won’t have anywhere near the success of Facebook. Its partly because of the huge user base but its also because of the platform. Facebook did not have to predict Mafia Wars or Farmville, as steve puts it, they just make it so other people can come up with their own ideas.

Whilst we spend our time looking at how we can make money, or looking at our killer app that will fuel our platform, or as we talk to the various church networks and churches we’re talking to. There is still the initial vision in site and the world hasn’t changed enough to not need our vision. Our vision is that when we were 14 and 16 building a little discussion forum for our church, we wanted to do it as part of something. We wanted to find tools already working with churches that we could use. And when we turned a “Like” button on our forum into an “Amen” button and discovered a really cool way to take our spirituality online, we wanted someone to tell about it.

There are still plenty of questions though:

  • Everyone wants to be a platform, but how do you actually attract developers? Is the church ready for this?
  • What does the platform do? Amazon’s platform is its computing ability, Apple is that loads of people use iphone, Facebook is a huge connection of users. What are we sharing? Code? Connections? Data? Ideas? All?
  • We need to remember Canal Mania, Railroad Mania and the dotcom bubble, we need to be able to use our own platform and get that killer app.
  • How open is this platform? Is it a fully distributed network of websites? Is there a central server with APIs? Is it just some code? Is it just the ideas?

2 thoughts on “Creating a Platform

  1. Pingback: Connecting the church around their personal passions | Jamie Abrahams Random Ramblings

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