“If your users haven’t built something that surprised you, you probably didn’t build a platform.”

Platforms have fueled some of the most successful business models of the past decade. However, building one for your enterprise isn’t as simple as it looks–many platform initiatives are doomed from the start. Learn how to select, build, and roll out platforms to supercharge your organization!

Innovation Through Harmonization

Standardization has traditionally been considered as at odds with innovation: to standardize means to restrict choice, which can stifle innovation because a desired resource isn’t available. However, some standards are notable counterexamples, like the HTTP protocol: by standardizing the interaction between a browser and a web server, HTTP was perhaps the biggest innovation driver in recent IT history.

The “platform paradox” transports this effect to the world of cloud or internal developer platforms (IDPs). Developing on a common platform enables developers instead of constraining them, speeding up delivery, increasing reuse, and boosting innovation.

Platform Strategy book cover

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Why You’ll Like This Book

Most organizations looking to harvest the power of platforms discover that building one, or even deploying one, is far from easy. Many in-house platforms are outdated by the time they’re launched, restrict rather than enable users, and face a certain demise when their use is mandated in a last-ditch effort to make the economics work.

Harvested from a decade of building successful in-house platforms, this book provides a fresh look at what makes platforms work, why they are different from other IT services, and how you can use them to boost developer productivity. Sticky metaphors (“are you building a fruit salad or fruit basket?”; “is your platform sinking or floating?”; “build abstractions not illusions!”) provide actionable design guidance without being lecturing or boring.

Table of Contents

On 320 pages, the book’s seven major parts accompany you on your platform journey via 31 chapters:

Understanding Platforms
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants Do you really see further or is the air just thinner?
The Fab Four of Technology Platforms Technology drives business models.
A Strategy for Platforms
Formulating a Strategy Strategy is the difference between making a wish and making it come true.
Becoming a Platform Company Transformation can’t be understood from the end product.
The Platform Paradox It’s a kind of magic.
Mapping Platforms If you don’t know where you are, a map won’t help.
In-House Platforms
In‐House IT Platforms My way is the highway.
IT Platform and IT Services Are Antonyms After renaming all teams still nothing improved…
Mechanisms Not Magic Making things work is not an implementation detail.
Do You Have an Opinion? A Mind of Your Own? Why we love opinionated platforms but despise restrictive ones.
Making Platform Decisions You want a quick decision? Give me a coin…
Procuring a Platform Why buy it when you can build it?
Designing Platforms
The 7 “C“s of Platform Quality Platforms might not be forever, but they do have more C’s than diamonds.
Fruit Salad or Fruit Basket? Good platforms are more than a collection of services.
Cantilevered Platforms Horizontal platforms sit on vertical pillars.
Will Your Platform Float or Sink? Most people want to swim–until they realize their cost is sunk.
Beware the Grim Wrapper! What starts well doesn’t always end well.
Build Abstractions Not Illusions Sometimes less is actually less.
Failure Doesn’t Respect Abstraction Time to enjoy a good stack trace!
Implementing Platforms
Platform Anatomy Platforms are the instruction sheets for Lego blocks.
Platform Orchestration From text processor to cloud compiler
Ownership and Tenancy Are you selling, leasing, or providing serviced apartments?
Growing Platforms
Platform Evolution Is a Cube Platforms may be flat, but their path isn’t.
The Shape of Platforms Platform adoption is all but linear.
Charting a Platform Roadmap Staying on track while laying it.
Tiering and Slicing One size doesn’t have to fit all.
Organizing for Platforms
Platform, Inc. Running a platform team is a bit like running a company.
The Soft Side of Platform Teams Platform teams also need interfaces and facades.
The Customer‐Centric Platform Team Self-service doesn’t have to be anonymous.
Platform Teams Without Platform Pyramids last 5000 years, but diamonds are forever.

Read a free sample chapters on Leanpub.

Buy the Book

Buy the DRM-free eBook on Leanpub or the Print book on Amazon.

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The Kindle and print editions will be available on Amazon in Q2 2024. Until then, you can read the Leanpub book on your Kindle.

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