6 thoughts on “Platform A: In Its First Semester, a Failing Grade”

  1. Om,

    Your story underscores a fundamental point that a lot of big companies struggle with; namely, the fact that assembling a bunch of ‘chicken parts’ does not magically translate to a living, breathing chicken.

    Part of this is just a by-product of the inherently silo’d nature of such companies, which makes it hard to orchestrate 1+1=3 types of unfair advantages in the way that Apple does so well today (and Microsoft used to in the past).

    That said, while it is perhaps unsurprising to see an old media company like Time-Warner struggling with this reality, it’s not like Yahoo in the new media space has done any better with a comparably rich set of assets.

    In other words, this stuff is just hard to execute on, and for every M&A master like Cisco there are a multitude of less inspiring players.

    Netting it out, companies need to decide whether they see themselves as being in the platform business, and if they do, they need get religion about what ‘platform’ means from an integration and going forward value proposition perspective.

    My experience is that in the M&A scheme of things, companies tend to be better at the ACQUIRING of assets than the MERGING and integration of them, which is another part of the problem.

    For what it’s worth, I have recently blogged on the ‘pipes versus platforms’ topic. Here is the URL:


    Check it out if interested.



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