1 min read

🍎 What is a platform?

🍎 What is a platform?

Following up on yesterday's article about Apple WWDC announcements, an obvious – and yet amazing – new possibility is to use an iPhone as a webcam for a Mac.

Using an iPhone as a webcam on a Mac laptop...

Think about this: How many other platforms do we know that can interoperate software and hardware as seamlessly as that? Apple doesn't even have an incentive to build better webcams in their laptops anymore because they sold us powerful $1,500 devices on top of the laptop.

When I'm explaining what a digital platform is, I usually explain that it's about progressing through four different levels:

  1. Dematerialization of the product to make it available at reduced infrastructure costs and pushing in the "as a service" zone.
  2. Disintermediation to be able to eventually reach your total market through your own channels.
  3. Building network effects to reach a critical mass of customers and become a de facto monopoly.
  4. Predict what customers will want before they ask by leveraging the vast amounts of data flowing through your channels. Rinse and repeat with new products.

This is exactly what we see at play with Apple. But what is more extraordinary than Google or Facebook – which are admittedly quite powerful platforms in their own right – is that Apple manages to create this flywheel effect not only with software but also through devices. This also explains why allowing all their different operating systems (iOS, iPad OS, macOS, etc.) to converge and talk to each other seamlessly is key to their future.


EDIT: Meanwhile, Facebook (Meta) stops another try at hardware development with an Apple Watch competitor project.