Transforming the Bay with Christ: A Platform Analysis

February 24, 2015 § 5 Comments

My series of four articles (plus a postscript) analyzing the regional spiritual renewal initiative Transforming the Bay with Christ:

  1. A Platform for Regional Transformation?
  2. From Platforms to Governance
  3. Trading Control for Authority
  4. The Process for Products
  5. TBC Postscript: A Missional Creed

TBC 2: From Platforms to Governance

February 6, 2015 § 7 Comments

In our first installment of my series on Transforming the Bay with Christ (TBC), we talked about how platforms enable us to tackle problems and markets too big for any one entity to manage directly. Because of that, though, it is much harder to create a successful platform than it is to create a successful program. In this installment, we will talk about how to do that.

Characteristics of a Platform

The first thing to realize is that every platform is characterized by three distinct but interrelated factors:

  • Policy (governance)
  • Incentives (business)
  • Infrastructure (engineering)

The health of a platform is determined by how well these three factors support each other and the overall purpose of the platform.

This has two interesting implications:

  • Every complex human system (states, markets, corporations, etc.) can be considered a platform
  • The reason most platforms fail is that “wonks, suits, and geeks” only worry about their layer of the platform (politics, economics, or technology, respectively) and tend to despise or ignore the others

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The Day that NeXTstep Died: The Lament of NeXTSTEP User Groups International

August 1, 2009 § 1 Comment

NUGI was the grandly named “NeXTSTEP User Groups International” — a last ditch effort by a bunch of NeXT fanatics to maintain interest in a mainstream operating system while NeXT the company was gravitating towards WebObjects and the enterprise. I as a grad student was President, some guy in Europe was Chairman, and that was pretty much all there was to it.

We didn’t succeed, but we built some close relationships with others equally as zany that continue to this day.

And at least we went out with a bang (below). Amazingly, the original post — including audio from the live performance Rohit and I did — is still available on xent.com!

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