You as a Platform

One from the archives: Circa 2013

Let's begin with a bit of context. Words are at the heart of every good narrative and so, to deconstruct the meaning of the narrative, we need to understand the power of words and their ability to shape the narrative.

Now to the deconstruction.

This is the word Platform. Or at least the word platform as define by Google.


You will have noted, as your eyes scrolled down the list of definitions, that the word Platform generally means to raise. To elevate. To provide visibility. Make aware. Except of course in one instance. That being the use of the word Platform within the context of its adoption by the IT&C industry.

You may well ask yourself: Why is that? Why is the IT&C Platform the exception to the rule?

Could it be an example of industry double speak?

To explore this question let's begin by redefining the idea of a platform, at least within the IT&C context, as a platform populated by a community of people who choose to spend their time raising, elevating, providing visibility, or at least making others aware of their existence, their interests, their expectations, their needs, their LIKES, their [whatever] through the activity of populating a database. In most cases for free.

What if, to put it very crudely, the platform is you?

What if it is you who are doing the elevating? The heavy lifting? Promoting awareness? Providing visibility? Rather than the computer. Be it the hardware, the software or the database, or indeed the network.

And let's explore this idea further by mapping the economics of You as a Platform within the context of the world's more popular social network. Let's multiplying the average time spent on Facebook per annum by the minimum hourly wage in the USA (i.e. 100hrs * $7.50). Just to see what it may cost to provide You as a Platform to the world.

What do we find? Well, once we factor in the advertising revenue your activity generates, we discover that You as a Platform are not particularly efficient.


Not that it matters of course because nobody is paying you for your time. But you can see what the economics of free are so appealing to the Techno-Sophists. 1.26 Billion users x $750 per annum puts the unrealised value of the global Facebook economy at $913.5 Billion dollars.

Bundle the rest of the social media landscape into the calculation then you suddenly find a shadow economy that is bigger than the Telecommunications industry that dominates the industry value chain. Suddenly you have an economic equation that suggests Analog Dollars no longer translates into Digital Pennies. It translates into untold riches.

If one assumes just one hour per day set at the US Minimum Wage from each of the world's estimated 2.4 Billion internet subscribers we find an extraordinary untapped source of wealth.


One just needs the tools and resources to mine it.

And so there you have it. The future of the industry is indeed elevated. Raised up. Made visible. Because, thanks to you, the market is aware.

Yes you are the platform upon which the future of the IT&C industry now rests. Indeed profits and thrives.

Think about the next time you hit the LIKE button or update your status or indeed pay your mobile phone bill.

And then ask yourself: Do I really want to be a platform?

Till next time...

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