Good input by Chris Anderson, former Wired Editor.
I think one of the lessons we’re learning from the smartphone era is the importance of platforms. All hardware these days has some software in it. Increasingly, everything has sensors and is connected to the Internet; all these things are talking to one another, and they tend to use common standards. What you’re finding is that what used to be stand-alone hardware is now part of the network. The moment something becomes part of a network, network effects kick in and there’s an advantage in having a platform and in having a standard that other people can work with—or perhaps in joining an existing standard. What we’re finding is that any company that traditionally shipped a product is now shipping part of an ecosystem. Let’s say you’re shipping consumer electronics to the home. These used to be stand-alone things. Now they’re all connected things. The question is, are you going to set the standard or are you going to embrace somebody else’s standard? One way or another, being part of a platform allows a product to become a service—and that service to become an ecosystem, and that ecosystem to become a community. That single product gets better every day because the software, content, and data that come into it get better.