Lesson 7. Platforms produce gravity

Don’t push

Pull not Push

Keep to the left.

Design strategy depends on the simple yet elusive principle that supply must follow demand.

Avoid the fool’s quest; never build a solution without first deeply understanding the latent problem. Get in the users’ shoes and feel their visceral pain or frustration.

Too often the limbic attraction of sexy technologies allures investors and makers with the delusion that “if I build it, they will come”.

Design insurgent Michael Anton Dila (a MADman to some) advocates the same for platforms.

Root platforms within the curve of demand, drawing participants, partners and end users into it’s orbit with gravitational pull.

gravity probe

The best platforms bend demand inward to attract participants, partners, advocates and customers

push pull hagel seely brown table

Copyright 2005 — John Hagel and John Seely Brown

John Hagel and John Seeley Brown expand on the demand-driven principle with their thoughtful treatise on push/pull platform design.

It’s worth a read, but this table neatly summarizes their 10 elements of polarity between push and pull platforms.

Stake your platforms on unserved needs, or risk Branson’s mistakes without Virgin’s offsetting successes.

And remember to hold the door for others. Pull. Don’t push.

Make better.

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