Twitter Summary: Startups need their current business to be successful and self-sustaining before they place serious effort in building a general platform.
I have a new post up at blog@CACM, “Successful Software Platforms are the Byproducts of Successful Businesses“ which was originally brought on by reading startup plans that all highlighted that they would have a general software platform in the middle of a virtuous cycle. In looking at these business plans, I realized that any substantive effort making the platform production-ready, would likely divert efforts from making the company profitable or able to deliver on its original mission. Exactly the type of expenses startups typically don’t have the resources to spend.
In doing a little research for the article, I was pointed to Chris Devore’s article about the value of platforms outside of software development. Examples include franchises like McDonald’s/Subway. and Avon.