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Old October 22, 2011, 05:24 AM
Dien Rice Dien Rice is online now
Onwards and upwards!
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,632
Default Re: Insider's Eval of Amazon, Google, MS, FB ...

Originally Posted by Ankesh View Post
Good point about platform being a toll Dien.

Actually, a platform is harder than a toll position. Its more like a well dug in a desert. You dig a well in a desert and a village grows around it. Toll is charging a fee to folks to use the water from the well.
Hi Ankesh - I had to think about this for a little while, but I "get" your metaphor of a well, and of a "village" growing around it, as a metaphor for a platform. Very smart and very appropriate too!

So Apple has had an awesome run this past few years. And its gotten a lot of press and publicity. There is another equally big company that also has had an awesome run. But no one talks about it. IBM.

Where Apple has focused on platforms, IBM has focused on creating toll positions. I mean - IBM has even positioned their salesmen into a toll position -- there are companies who actually tap IBM's sales force to sell their products!
I don't know much about this. I read Louis Gerstner's book "Who says elephants can't dance?" (about how he turned around IBM after its "downfall"), but that was several years ago. Could you explain further what you mean, with respect to IBM?

I think before thinking if you want to focus on creating a platform or a toll position, you need to look at another factor:

The flow of money.

Some times, you can see the trends of how and where the money is going to flow and dig a well. Other times, you can find a well and build a toll around it. But the main thing is to find the flow.
I agree that where there is an existing flow of money, it is often possible to get a part of it! If you can identify a toll position to help you with that, it's probably easier to succeed in doing so...

Best wishes,

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