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The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  162 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Buoyed by the success of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, thousands of companies of all sizes are creating vibrant ecosystems and, in the process, reaping big rewards. In the tradition of The Long Tail, The Age of the Platform demonstrates how the world of business today is vastly different from that of even 10 years ago.
Paperback, 1st, 316 pages
Published October 23rd 2011 by Motion Publishing (first published October 22nd 2011)
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Terri Griffith
Jan 17, 2012 Terri Griffith rated it it was amazing
I’m feeling guilty. I like Phil Simon’s new book, The Age of the Platform: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business, because I agree with almost everything he says. The guilt comes from feeling like I should be looking for ideas that challenge my own, but with Phil Simon I think I’ve found an futurist/analyst who uses many of the same lenses I do. He shows how “each piece interacts with other parts of its ecosystem and the world at large" (Introduction). I feel less guilty ...more
Anita Campbell
Nov 27, 2011 Anita Campbell rated it it was amazing
Phil Simon’s newest book, The Age of the Platform, is the kind of book to read if you want to better understand the Internet and how your company can fit into it and create a business model to profit from it.

The subtitle “How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google Have Redefined Business” gives further clues of what this book is about. Simon refers to these four companies as the “Gang of Four.” It’s a term first used by Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, to describe four tech companies tha
This book is a parade example of the next big literary trend, Casual Reading. You saw it here first.

POP QUIZ: “Casual Reading” is:

a) laying around, smelly and unshaven, on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a good hardcover;
b) sneaking a read on your mobile device, sitting in your fabric-walled cubical on Friday afternoon in pink Oxford shirt, chinos, and a open collar;
c) an important new and highly trademarked-by-me concept which will support me in my rapidly-approaching old age, much as Elvis Coste
Pep Bonet
Jan 02, 2014 Pep Bonet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: assaig, tecnologia
This is an interesting book to understand modern trends in business. Simon's views are that we live in the Age of the Platform. Exit the old businesses which based their activity on closed environments and not granting access to competitors to any of their assets. New successful companies play the platform, play the interconnection with other platforms and profit from this. The successful business is based on a successful platform with hundreds of 'planks' and links with all other platforms. Aut ...more
Peter O'Kelly
Mar 16, 2014 Peter O'Kelly rated it liked it
I probably would have rated the book 4 stars if I had read it closer to its 2011 publication date, and wish I had run across it when it was first published. Reading it in early 2014, the book's overall thesis and platform models are still useful, but a lot of the Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google details were a bit stale. Still recommended reading for anyone interested in recent information technology and Internet market dynamics.
Vishal Biyani
Feb 27, 2014 Vishal Biyani rated it really liked it
Although might seem shallow at times, this book does a good job of starting to think Platform way in the new age. Highly recommended for developers, freelancers and leaders alike in today's age! Easily readable - but do take your own time to internalize the learning.
Mike Wheeler
Jun 07, 2014 Mike Wheeler rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Fantastic read. He nails it on why these companies have been so successful and why previous competitors have failed. To me it is the innovation but also the ability to change with the environment and standards that have came into play. Over the last 15 years I still say the ever decreasing costs of memory and the ability to continue to increase the amount we can store has been the most drastic innovation since the industrial revolution. The speed at which we can process today is phenomenal and c ...more
May 24, 2012 Helder rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've read from this author.

This book, as the title says, talks about platforms, giving some close attention to the so called "Gang of Four". It's not an how-to book, it's more a book about the importance of having a strong, meaningful and open platform. A technological platform is something a business must have nowadays, a platform that allows the business to grow, thrive and scale.

If you are interested in the subject, if you have an online business or if you simply want t
Jun 25, 2012 camcollins rated it liked it
I am in the tech industry, so for me there weren't many new concepts here. However, I gave the book to a partner in one of my businesses that is new to "tech". He is getting a lot out of it. Simon's concept of not focusing like a laser on a niche runs counter to much of the conversation in the start-up interwebs, but I could relate to what he was saying. Focus too much and you may miss tangential opportunities - stretching a bit - but what he called "planks". I have added "planks" to my vocab, s ...more
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 Lori Grant rated it it was amazing
A must-read book for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs on building and managing technology. Simon not only explains how the internet created a new frontier for platforms, he describes how Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google dominated books, music, social networking, and search.

More importantly, Simon shares how entrepreneurs can find the white spaces by building their own platforms based on best practices by the Gang of Four.
Dec 07, 2013 Kanapo rated it really liked it
ในโลกดิจิตอลขางหนา ความยิงใหญจะไมสามารถสรางขึนมาดวยรูปแบบเดิมๆ ทีวา winner get all จะหมดไป
Age of platform ทำใหเราเหนวาการเติบใหญของ Tech-company ทียิงใหญนันเกียวของกับการทีทำใหตัวเองเปน platform และเปิดโอกาสใหมีคนมารวมใชประโยชนสรางสรรคมากมาย ยิงมี partner มาก platform เรากจะยิงใหญมากกวาเดิม ^_^

Rao Kasibhotla
May 31, 2015 Rao Kasibhotla rated it liked it
Good read. I have a long time interest in the topic, so not a lot of insight, but seeing all pieces of platform thinking in one place is great.
Feb 12, 2014 Navkendar rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone interested in how Google, Apple and Internet are ruling and changing our worlds....highly recommended
Aug 20, 2012 Antonio rated it it was ok
The Age of the Platform is not book about platforms, it is about Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. It misses the mark defining a platform as having “Iconic and Visionary Leaders”(p.145) and “Platforms are Inherently Political”(p.150). Neither of these traits, and many more stated in the book, are the basis of platforms themselves. Platforms are not defined as “not monopolies--natural or otherwise”(p.33). Stating qualities that these four companies have does not define a platform.

A rough yet m
Zekai Huang
Jan 27, 2015 Zekai Huang rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
It's a nice concept to talk about the gang of four -- amazon, apple, facebook, google. But it failed to discuss what truly made it a platform than simply talking about its product and history. The part talking about platform's characteristics and how to build platform has nothing profound.

Apr 27, 2016 Franco added it
Adam Wiggins
Jun 09, 2015 Adam Wiggins rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up, computing
"Platform" is a very unique type of business –overwhelmingly powerful when successful (Microsoft and Apple are both examples), but very few people get platform, or understand why it differs from an app.

This book is the only one on the subject, so I tried to struggle through it. Unfortunately, it sucks. Go read Joel Spolsky's (dated, but still applicable) blog post on the subject instead.

(Made it to page 140 of 247.)
David E.
Dec 12, 2012 David E. rated it liked it
Great summary of what is happening in the world of ecommerce. If you don't have an API you may be out of luck. More to the point, learn how Amazon, Apple and eBay are creating new markets and new features every day, and why it's only just beginning. There are no great technical "how-to's" or coding samples, but a nice overview of the brave new world of platforms and why it matters.
Phil Simon
Apr 28, 2015 Phil Simon added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: business
Link to video trailer can be found here.
Aug 22, 2014 Natalie rated it it was ok
101 level, probably would've given more stars if I read it closer to publication date.
Graham Mumm
Apr 28, 2013 Graham Mumm rated it liked it
Decent overview of the largest modern business platforms
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Signed copies of the book 1 4 Mar 19, 2012 06:26AM  
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Phil Simon is a frequent keynote speaker and recognized technology authority. He is the award-winning author of seven management books, most recently Message Not Received: Why Business Communication Is Broken and How to Fix It. He consults organizations on matters related to communications, strategy, data, and technology. His contributions have been featured on The Harvard Business Review, The New ...more
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