Technology is evolving so rapidly that today’s offerings are often tomorrow’s discards. The cryptocurrency market illustrates perfectly, particularly when altcoins fight a “survival of the fittest” battle daily. Investors place their bets in an attempt to determine which altcoins will survive to fight another day. Cryptocurrency investors are attracted to the market’s volatility since that’s where the quick profits are to be made. However, they also want the winners to compete against a bloated fiat currency and solve the problems besetting our current monetary system. In the long run, these two goals are incompatible. This is why the savvy investor should seek out platforms in which to invest (over and above individual altcoins). A good platform will not only expand upon itself but support and inspire the other altcoins and dapps it hosts.
In Product vs. Platform: Why Platforms Win I discussed how platforms help propel companies that want to evolve and expand exponentially. Such companies use their current offerings to originate further development. They also excel at innovation and collaboration as a means to foster growth. As a platform-based company, Microsoft excelled at both these attributes.
The Microsoft Example
Microsoft’s underlying strength has always been its operating system rather than any specific product. Although the general public tended to associate Microsoft with its best-selling product Microsoft Office, it was Microsoft’s support for both its operating system and the applications that ran on it – that made the company indispensable to other software companies.
Of course, Microsoft Office was the program that people the world over used daily to write nearly all forms of communication. However, in order to use Word or Excel or Powerpoint, all of these users had to first purchase a computer installed with a Microsoft operating system. Then purchase Microsoft Office itself (if it wasn’t already installed). By making the OS system an indispensable part of this process, Microsoft ensure that its profits extended far into the future.
Microsoft laid the groundwork for this business idea twenty years earlier (1970s). By creating libraries of building blocks for programmers, coders were incentivized to employ Microsoft’s intellectual property for their own software ends. All of which ran on Microsoft’s operating system. And Microsoft ensure that these coders had the tools necessary to meet their needs. Being able to code what they wanted, they also helped Microsoft embed itself in the majority of software advances embraced by the public. Before any substantial competitors emerged, Microsoft had already facilitated and organized most business software on the market.
As a result, the average software developer had to work with Microsoft simply because it’s operating system had become standard:
“As the company expanded, Microsoft formalized this component framework and developed a “programming model” to go along with it—in essence, defining the way that applications should interact with its preexisting software components. It extended the model to its application business, sharing increasing amounts of code between products like Word and Excel. Over time, as more and more partners signed up to use the model, developing applications for Microsoft’s operating systems and using Microsoft’s tools in the process, the power of the platform became evident. It was a win-win relationship—the community of development partners received benefits in terms of enhanced productivity, while Microsoft’s position was strengthened through the deployment of products that were complementary to its own. This made it tough for competitors. They were competing against the repository of knowledge accumulating in Microsoft’s component libraries.”
Microsoft’s platform dominance provided its products with an inherent advantages over other products. Microsoft simply had to select which programs it would bundle with its next operating system. Not incidentally, the average user didn’t even question if these were the best products. They came with the computer, so they had to be, right?
It’s easy to view the cryptocurrency market as a variety of competing opportunities or even as a bloodsport. And yet, the investor who wants to bet on the crypto’s future will research which cryptocurrency platforms offer developers the best system to create future products. Especially those that crypto users will embrace. In the end, the platform that propels numerous other tokens and cryptocurrencies to succeed will serve as a better investment at this point than a single cryptocurrency.
Ultimately, the extreme competition within the cryptocurrency market is temporary. Consumers are placing their confidence in networks that prove to be fast, secure, and stable. And developers are seeking platforms that best facilitate and promote their creations. For now, XTRABYTES seems like a safe bet to meet all these goals.