In my Columbia Business School Executive Education course, Leading Strategic Growth and Change, Jerry Kim shares his research on platform versus product strategies and the pluses and minuses of the two. Rather counterintuitively, he proposed to the class that Apple actually missed a big opportunity to create a platform by pursuing a product strategy. With a product strategy, everything serves to create a superior product, which in turn is priced high, appealing to the upper end of target customer segments. It created a very fruitful debate, given the company’s tremendous success. What Jerry proposed was that had Apple priced the iPhone more competitively, they could have headed off the surge of Android’s growth by providing the core platform for developers and other members of the ecosystem.
Jerry has now been interviewed making this exact point on Bloomberg TV, suggesting that Tim Cook may be shifting the company’s focus away from hardware and toward creating an ecosystem for developers and other companies to build on. Check out the video – it makes for absolutely fascinating watching, whether you agree or not!