Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries

Overview

Software platforms are the invisible engines that have created, touched, or transformed nearly every major industry for the past quarter century. They power everything from mobile phones and automobile navigation systems to search engines and web portals. They have been the source of enormous value to consumers and helped some entrepreneurs build great fortunes. And they are likely to drive change that will dwarf the business and technology revolution we have seen to this point. Invisible Engines examines the ...
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Invisible Engines: How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries

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Overview

Software platforms are the invisible engines that have created, touched, or transformed nearly every major industry for the past quarter century. They power everything from mobile phones and automobile navigation systems to search engines and web portals. They have been the source of enormous value to consumers and helped some entrepreneurs build great fortunes. And they are likely to drive change that will dwarf the business and technology revolution we have seen to this point. Invisible Engines examines the business dynamics and strategies used by firms that recognize the transformative power unleashed by this new revolution - a revolution that will change both new and old industries.

The authors argue that in order to understand the successes of software platforms, we must first understand their role as a technological meeting ground where application developers and end users converge. Invisible Engines explores this story through the lens of the companies that have mastered this platform-balancing act, offering detailed studies of the personal computer, video game console, personal digital assistant, smart mobile phone, and digital media software platform industries. Shorter discussions of Internet-based software platforms provide an important glimpse into a future in which the way we buy, pay, watch, listen, learn, and communicate will change forever. An electronic version of this book is available under a Creative Commons license.

About the Author:
David S. Evans is Managing Director of the Global Competition Policy Practice at LECG LLC

About the Author:
Andrei Hagiu is Assistant Professor of Strategy at Harvard Business School

Aboutthe Author:
Richard Schmalensee is John C. Head III Dean and Professor of Management and Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The prose is accessible, even engaging. And the shrewd analysisbacked up by a great deal of research and a precise narrative of recent business historymore than makes up for the lack of office politics and entrepreneur heroics. Any executive looking to turn his company's product into an engine of growth will want to consult Invisible Engines." OmMalik Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262050852
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Evans is Managing Director of the Global Competition Policy Practice at LECG LLC and part of Market Platform Dynamics, a management consulting firm that focuses on strategic analysis and product design for platform-based firms.

Richard L. Schmalensee is John C. Head III Dean and Professor of Management and Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He is co-editor of Management: Inventing and DeliveringIts Future (MIT Press, 2003).

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Table of Contents

1 Invisible engines 1
2 Speaking in code 17
3 Both sides now 43
4 Dropouts and evangelists 81
5 PONG 115
6 The palm economy 155
7 Ba-BA-Ba-BAAAAH 183
8 Dangerous intersections 213
9 With a little help ... 245
10 Some lunches are free 275
11 When bigger is better 303
12 Swept away 337
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