On the shoulders of giants

Written by Cliff on Wednesday 26 February 2014 at 10:17 am

Last night, I had the pleasure to speak with a young man who insisted on his belief that a business that created systems is superior to one that used systems because it would give him greater ‘satisfaction’.

I told him that since all businesses were founded on the exchange of goods and services for currency, any business you create is already based on a system. You should instead create a new system for international trade, if that would lend you greater ‘satisfaction’.

The trend today, unless you happen to be as capitalised as Google, Microsoft or Apple, is to create businesses on the shoulders of giants – platforms, in today’s terminology. The recent acquisition of Whatsapp and not least the public success of many smaller companies have highlighted the feasibility and benefits of operating on universally available platforms. No longer are we operating alone in a disparate business ecosystem. Tomorrow’s business heroes can rest-assured build on existing platforms to create a better future for themselves and their customers.

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