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