Note: This blog post modified to display properly on your outdated monitor ( get the Retina display already dude). Language modified by the furloughed guys for your reading clarity.
It is said that when a vendor strategy is not clear, they start calling their product a platform. A platform is not always perfect and neither is it stable.
Platform captures that sense of dreaminess, a potential that your tiny brain can’t yet grasp. It is also an attempt to discover your connection to nature. Also know that the word that follows “platform” is “ecosystem“, which with its lush green leafs, stems and branches and beautiful green frogs jumping from ponds, birds singing beautiful songs. And often times when the ecosystem is so green, it is expected there some rainbows in the sky too. For added effect, imagine a pink unicorn freely roaming the ecosystem grounds.
So, in someways ‘platform’ is the romanticism that has been missing in the technology industry. It is also the attempt of marketers and BD folks to try to bring back love, Kumbaya and all that feel good stuff back into our engineering driven culture.
How is an IT guy who is evaluating products to solve their specific problems avoid getting sucked into this ecosystem of frogs, birds and become giddy eyed?
we give you some guidance, which you shall follow at your own risk…
1. Platforms are temporary – platform don’t lasts as long as your systems have to
2. Look at multiple platforms and adopt a strategy of heterogeneous platforms
3. Ask to see interoperability between platforms – if nothing else, vendor dance is often fun to watch
4. Do not fall for ‘but, its open source, so lets hug’ trap
5. Use the core value provided by the platform, but avoid the other services
– for ex: do not fall into using the DB provided by this “platform” – you are better off getting it from a vendor that knows databases ( SQL or noSQL )
6. Good idea to avoid a platform for first 12-18 months of its initial existence, unless you like causing yourself pain and somewhat masochistic about it.
7. Listen carefully to expert’s advices – memorize them, their sayings are good to repeat with friends after few drinks when you run out of jokes.
8. Look at few images from rain forests and few other places and create strong association between ‘ecosystem’ and that image – when you hear ‘ecosystem’ the first thing that your mind recalls should be a pretty green frog jumping from a pond.
9. Avoid PPT BS and platform promises and rather insist on a POC that solves your current problem well.
10. Know that many IT managers before you have resisted the lure of platforms and they have done well for themselves – missing a platform wave/quadrant is not that big of a deal.
And to retain the sense of disdain for all things Platforms, you must use the word ‘platform’ at least once on twitter.