Saturday, October 31, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg demystified Platform Thinking as a Teenager

I recently stumbled upon this interview that Mark Zuckerberg gave to CNBC as a mere 19 year old entrepreneur, Before I comment further on this, do take around 1 minutes 26 seconds to watch this clip-

At first, I couldn't stop but rave about the confidence exhibited by a teenager and the maturity, clear-headedness and the humbleness that he demonstrated in this interview. He mentions that Facebook was started to solve the problem faced by Harvard to connect student community and it evolved to connect to various other universities in the early days.
No, my purpose of this blog is not the just shower praises on Zuckerberg but what really struck me with this video was its correlation with the last blog that I wrote.

Let me just capture some key points/phrases that he made-
1. He was looking to build something cool.
2. The original plan, Zuckerberg said, was to make a bunch of "side applications" that would bring users back.
3. He called out Facebook simply as an online directory that connected people in universities and help build social networks.

Dissecting his 1 minute interview further, I couldn't help but associate it with some characteristics of platform that I mentioned in my previous blog-

1. Connection: how easily others can plug into the platform to share and transact
2. Gravity: how well the platform attracts participants, both producers and consumers
3. Flow: how well the platform fosters the exchange and co-creation of value

He talks about online directory (Connection) to help connect people.
He talks about making apps that will help pull people (Gravity) back to the site.
He talks about letting people know other people (Flow) by helping them access profiles.

No big deal if we look back at it now but certainly a big deal if we consider the fact that Zuckerberg said this more than a decade back when platform thinking was there, but to be fair it was not as evolved as it is now.

Facebook has also evolved in these years but the fundamental elements that Zuckerberg described in 2004 still drive its success.

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