I had the pleasure of talking with author Phil Simon this morning. His latest book, The Age of the Platform, looks at four 21st-century powerhouse companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google) which have managed to grow big while keeping their competitive edges and innovating at lightning speed. Simon says they’ve done this by building “platforms” which are redefining business.

So what is a platform? Simon describes it as “an extremely powerful and valuable ecosystem that quickly and easily scales, morphs, and incorporates new features, users, customers, vendors, and partners.”

This applies to smaller companies too.

In the video (click here if you aren’t seeing it), Simon and I talk about:

  • The top reasons why entrepreneurs and smaller companies need to understand platforms
  • Examples of smaller businesses adopting platforms
  • Advice for small businesses on how to get started

Plus, you’ll see that I’m really a PC person and learn what being good at darts has to do with business strategy.

Bonus Reading: Check out my review of The Age of the Platform, which includes a peek at the key components of a solid platform.

Disclosure: I donated to support the publication of this book via Kickstarter, which means I thought it was an intriguing concept—and that I actually paid more for my “free” copy than the book’s list price. None of this, however, impacts what I chose to write about the book.

Photo by Brendan Riley (Flickr).