Product vs. Platform: Why Platforms Win

Platforms

What is the difference between a product-based business and one that takes a platform-based approach? The answer provides a basis for understanding why the tech landscape has changed so dramatically. And as explained below, these changes have allowed platform-based companies to set the “rules of the game” and achieve tremendous market success.

Why product-based tech strategies fail

Throughout the 20th century, achieving business success went hand-in-hand with producing a product that met a consumer need. Companies simply had to identify a suitable market niche and then capably produce and market a product for it. Those that also invested in product innovation could secure an enviable market position. With the right product, an innovative company could create a highly profitable revenue stream and reinforce their overall brand. Many did and as a result, thousands of successful products have become household names, including  Coca-Cola, Kleenex, Chapstick, and Q-tips (to name a few!). We still use these products and their derivations every day.

Unfortunately, even leading companies can produce products that fail. And those that do succeed must still ward off new competitors. This is particularly true in the highly competitive tech field. Tech is a constantly evolving field, so tech companies hardly expect that any successful product will achieve lasting staying power. As such, their products are increasingly subject to an ever-shorter product lifecycle. Even stand-alone tech products that are highly successful can expect a short shelf life. Aware of this, tech companies must continually innovate and plan for product obsolescence.

How Apple survived

For the past 30 years, the computer revolution has touched almost every facet of life. In its early years, however, the computer industry catered to a very niche audience (not unlike cryptocurrency). And as a brand new industry, marketing computers was not unlike marketing any other product at the time.  As the 1980s progressed, Apple changed industry expectations and became very adept at marketing. Its Apple II and Macintosh computers changed how the public viewed computers. Apple found its market niche and in so doing proved once again how a tried-and-true 20th-century business model could generate substantial wealth.

And yet, if Apple had continued as a product-oriented business in the 90s, it’s market share would have declined. Perhaps its core competency would have come under assault from smaller competitors as well. In fact, Steve Jobs departure from Apple left many industry observers certain that this was the company’s destiny. However, Steve Jobs understood the need to position Apple as a platform-based company. When he returned in 1997, he began transitioning Apple into the platform that it would later become.

In the 2000s, Apple debuted the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad, a series of innovative products their customers could hardly have anticipated. While Apple still sells retail computers, it also sells music, television shows, movies, and apps via iTunes. It even sells data storage through its iCloud service. Apple’s platform offerings are rich and varied, encompassing computing, entertainment, and communication. As a result, Apple is exponentially larger and more successful as a platform than it ever was as a computer manufacturer.

Why platform-based tech strategies succeed

Since then, other tech companies have taken the same platform-based approach. Like Apple, they have sought to overcome tech’s risk-of-obsolescence problem by channeling customers toward a single technology framework. With a platform-based approach, companies ensure that their customers have access to their latest products as well (think Microsoft Office Suite).

A platform-based strategy can be remarkably successful in helping companies showcase new and innovative products. Consider how hard-pressed they would be to market their many products as standalone. Perhaps best of all, a platform-based approach creates new consumer demands based its many products interact with other tech company offerings.

In essence, platform companies succeed because:

Encourage diversification and innovation – In order to thrive, platform companies must attract people who are exceptional at product development. They must also be highly versatile and adept at navigating the changing economy.

Minimize risk – While not every plank of the platform may be solid, there are enough product planks to give the platform overall solidity. Even if one product or service is a dud or demand drops, the company can remain profitable as a whole (think Google Video).

Cultivate a larger customer base – Satisfied customers of a particular platform product (or service) are far more likely to be aware of other platform product offerings. Constructing a platform plank by plank has proven to be an effective way to break into related markets. In the end, a well-known platform can successfully market its products based on its brand reputation (both directly and indirectly).

Why XTRABYTES is positioned for growth

How does this relate to the emerging cryptocurrency market? Why should investors care whether their crypto investments are more than simple coins? XTRABYTES investors care because they desire an investment that is stronger and more robust than a simple cryptocurrency. The XTRABYTES’ platform offers the flexibility required to resolve multiple blockchain-related problems, all integrated as modules within XCITE.  This will allow users to access such modules as XCHAT, XPAY, XVAULT, and others. All within a single interface. Likewise, XTRABYTES code-agnostic approach will allow developers to create innumerable dapps (decentralized applications).

Moreover, rather than limiting its utility to the financial sector (as many cryptocurrencies do), the XTRABYTES platform will enable developers to create untold use-cases. For crypto investors, XTRABYTES will never quite meet its potential since its fulfillment can never be fully realized. By providing a platform-based solution, XTRABYTES is saying, ‘The sky is the limit,” with regard to its offerings.

Would you like to know more?

We don’t just publish articles, XTRABYTES™ is a whole new blockchain platform that allows DApps to be programmed in any language, utilizing a new consensus algorithm called Proof of Signature. In doing so, XTRABYTES™ presents a next – generation blockchain solution capable of providing a diverse set of capabilities to the general public.

You can learn more on our website where you can also help to spread the word through our bounty program and get rewarded in XFUEL™, or join our community and hop into the discussion right now!

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