Design Rules, Volume 2: How Technology Shapes Organizations: Chapter 14 Introducing Open Platforms and Ecosystems
25 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018 Last revised: 23 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2019
The purpose of this chapter is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive theoretical investigation of open platform systems. To do this, we must first recognize that, although there is a strong family resemblance among all platform systems, there are different types of platforms, each with its own set of technological requirements and challenges. I first develop a taxonomy of open platforms and then provide a brief history of open digital platforms. I go on to argue that the success of open platforms in competition with vertically integrated firms gave rise to the “vertical-to-horizontal” transition in the computer industry between 1985 and 2000. The technology of open digital platforms not only shaped individual organizations but changed the structure of the entire computer industry.
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