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What Makes A Platform Stick?

February 23rd, 2010 No comments

Inspired by the book Made to Stick – Why do some ideas thrive while others die? by Heath brothers, I would like to give it a try on software platforms rather than the ideas covered in the book. Although the computer industry is still relatively young compared with other industries, it’s quite dynamic and we’ve seen some platforms came and died while others came and thrive. So, what are the general characteristics for such sticky platforms?

The authors of the book summarized the 6 principals to make ideas stick, meaning the ideas change either the thoughts or/and behaviors of the receivers. These principals are Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Credibility, Concreteness, Emotions, and Stories. They are shortened to SUCCESs for easy memory.

Most of these principals don’t apply on software platforms. Unexpectedness, for example, may be the last thing you would like to see of a software platform. For software platform, we definitely need predictability, among other qualities.

After thinking the problem over, I summarized 4 basic principles for a software platform to stick: Simplicity, Extensibility, Ecosystem, and Developers, in short SEED.