The Age Of The Platform – Phil Simon Book Summary

The Age Of The Platform – Phil Simon | Free Book Summary

The Age Of The Platform – Phil Simon

The Age of the Platform explores the lessons of the platform business model. Phil Simon captures some important lessons from platform development and explains why they are relevant to the small business owner.

Platform Technology: Suggestions, Recommendations, and Ratings

Powerful business intelligence software allows the site to make relevant suggestions to users without the clutter of ads that users might not appreciate. 

Subscribe to Miniwise Newsletter (Free!)

Miniwise newsletter brings you one great bite-sized idea every day, curated from world's best non-fiction books, articles, podcasts..and more. An entire new world in just 5 minutes!


Users can rate the products they purchase. In fact, they can even rate products that they didn’t purchase on the platform. 

The rating system takes advantage of network effects and allows the site to be even more accurate in the products it recommends to individual customers.

Free book, podcast summaries

The Apple Brand: Good Design Everywhere

  • Good design is part of the brand; Apple products look good and they don’t have extraneous bells and whistles. They are intuitive and straightforward. 
  • Simplicity, ease of use, and enjoyment are the qualities that make Apple products great. 
  • These are also the qualities that make for great platforms.

The Apple Platforms: App Store and APIs

The App Store has made a lot of money for Apple.

They opened the Application Programming Interface (API), and now the App Store lets them grow even more without having to pay developers, programmers, servicers, or anyone else for these apps. 

Open APIs make innovation happen faster. Like other major platform companies, Apple figured out how to monetize its ecosystem apart from just selling hardware and software.

Facebook: The Perfect Platform

Founder Mark Zuckerberg is a platform genius. He made sure right from the beginning that

  • Facebook loaded fast.
  • It was scalable.
  • It had authentic identities of every user to deter fraud.
  • It had various platform planks like games ads, fan pages, messaging and news feed.

Google: Search Engine Plus Everything Else

Sergey Brin and Larry Page incorporated Google in 1998. It didn’t take them long to realise that their search engine was limited. Even if they could search and index the web with breathtaking speed and efficiency, people would use the site more if it did more than simply search.

Google added lots of features beyond simple keyword searches, sometimes growing so fast that its purposes defied logic or planning. 

The Platform Planks of Google

Google continues to add more products. Like Amazon, Apple, and Facebook did, Google has grown by moving sideways. They also monetized the platform with ads; additionally, they raised revenue by charging to bring up companies on user searches.

The Smart Ways Of Google

  • Google offers a diverse range of services.
  • It has deep personalization with the users.
  • The search algorithm is tailored and fine-tuned to perfection.
  • They offer a majority of their services for free.

The DNA: Platform Components and Characteristics

There are many properties these four platforms(Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook) have in common. 

  • They all have dynamic stability, meaning they are stable and yet always changing. 
  • They are adaptable. 
  • They’re all dependent on data and technology. 
  • They collect lots of information about people because that helps them make decisions and function better. 
  • They understand their customers.

Innovations Made Universal

Facebook pioneered the like button, and now it, or something very much like it, is ubiquitous across the internet. Everyone borrows each other’s good ideas.

Platforms should also cultivate stickiness, and provide lots of different features so that it’s convenient for users to stay on the site as they engage in a variety of activities. The longer people are kept on the platform, the better.

Googling And Facebooking: Verb Branding

Platforms magnify the power of brands. Platform brands can become so powerful that they are verb branded. People use the brand name to describe the very act.

For Google, this happened because they did their job better than their competitors. The brand has become seared into public awareness.

The Benefits of Platforms

Platforms can offer multiple products and services, which can save customers time from having to go to different places. This will keep your customers from going over to your competitors. 

Your customers will be grateful to have the convenience of having everything in one place, and their loyalty will continue to grow.

Get the book!

Sign Up for nextbigwhat newsletter

The smartest newsletter, partly written by AI.

Download, the short news app for busy professionals