- No recipes
A very good read on platforms & a reflection on marketing worldviews, a weird computer hardware recommendation, and a last reminder about BPN
Steven Sinofsky, a former head honcho at Microsoft, has recently published his Ultimate Guide to Platforms and it's a very good read. (At the end of this post is a Claude-100k summary of the article if you want to make sure you'll think it's a good read before you invest ~1hr of your time to find out.)
I find platforms fascinating because they are little complex adaptive systems; systems with at least 4 kinds of agents (the platform owner, users, developers, and ecosystem members like trainers, consultants, and so forth). Such systems feature non-linearity, adaptation, a certain amount of bottom-up organization, co-evolution, and emergent behavior. This means step-by-step recipes do not work -- the same input won't produce the same output every time. There is no recipe for building a platform.
Ben Thompson talks about platforms with the tidy generalizations of the strategist, while in Sinofsky's writing I hear a measure more humility and recognition of the complexities of the real world — the voice of the practitioner. Both have valuable perspectives.
We sometimes take our own perspective for granted until we encounter a contrasting one. I was speaking to a prospect recently and they said "...we need a sophisticated marketing funnel because our projects are multiple 6-figures...". I referred them elsewhere because that belief won't allow them to see the value in the simpler approaches I advocate. I also think they're probably wrong, but I didn't feel like trying to get them to change their worldview on a 30-minute call.
If we turn their and my competing worldviews into a question, the question would be, "what causes multiple 6-figure projects?" There's not just one recipe, is there? There are certainly some necessary ingredients, like the ability to deliver on a project of that scope. And one extremely necessary ingredient would be a prospect who has those resources to spend and believes that they are likely to get a good ROI on the expense.
Does it take a sophisticated marketing funnel to intercept that prospect and create that belief -- the belief that your firm is the one that should be selected to take your approach to solving the problem and thereby co-create value in excess of the price? Maybe in some situations it does? But without specific supporting evidence, I wouldn't automatically assume that a sophisticated marketing funnel is needed.
If I had felt like challenging this prospect’s belief, I would have asked: "why is a sophisticated marketing funnel needed here?" It would have been a gift to be proven wrong because I would have learned something new from it.
I have my point of view on marketing, and I have my own beliefs and worldview that impinge on questions related to marketing. And part of that worldview is, as with platforms, there are no easy, repeatable recipes that work the same way every time. This leads to a heuristic: if you don't have specific evidence that supports a complex approach for your situation, try some simple stuff first. Bake a sheet cake before you try to construct a 4-tier wedding cake with pillars between the tiers.
I recently started using a Hisense 43A6H as a computer display. To save you the Googling, that is a 43" 4k television. It is an EXTREMELY LARGE display. I and my aging eyes love it. For $220, it's the best dollar-per-square-foot I've ever spent on a computer display. My needs are productivity plus a bit of photo editing, and this ginormous IPS panel does what I need. I wish it was less reflective and would power up from standby when it detects HDMI signal rather than needing to be manually powered back on but aside from that, I'd recommend it to other cheapskates out there in search of an EXTREMELY LARGE display.
I pushed back the start date of the Better Professional Network Study Group to Tuesday, June 13, so if you're interested you can still join. The price is $600 (1-time, not recurring)
This virtual study group is meant to help you use introvert-friendly methods to build a better professional network. It's not a course with a recipe or plan; instead, it's more of a laboratory where we're all experimenting with a few simple ideas I'll bring to the group, learning from each other as we do, and working to build at least one new sustainable network-focused bizdev habit or process into your business.
3 months duration, starting June, 2023
The whole group meets realtime via Zoom video call every 2 weeks for a 2 hour discussion session. The discussion will be pretty tightly-structured to maximize group learning and progress. Meeting times:
June 13, 2023: Start time - 9am MT / 11am ET / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST
June 27, 2023
July 11, 2023
July 25, 2023
August 8, 2023
August 22, 2023
September 5, 2023
There is a Slack channel for the group.
Philip will host weekly office hours where any group member can drop by with questions, to talk through challenges, get ideas on positioning/POV, get a dash of encouragement, etc.
Price: $600 1-time
Signup deadline: by the start of the first realtime video call, which is June 13, 2023 9am MT / 11am ET / 4pm BST / 5pm CEST
May we all bake delicious sheet cakes before we go for the wedding cake, -P