Platform specializations and thought leadership

Specializing in a platform limits the opportunity to create thought leadership content.

In the early days of the platform’s life, there might be some opportunity for something like thought leadership content, but mature platforms need very little thought leadership that is focused on the platform itself. First reason: it’s kind of obvious what the platform can do and how to unlock its value. Second, along its path to maturity, the platform owner has probably been investing in thought leadership content themselves, and so they likely have become the primary thought leader or authority within the platform ecosystem.

When it comes to platforms, the opportunity for real thought leadership is at the platform-business boundary.

Thought leadership about Shopify: bleh.
Thought leadership about e-commerce as the world exits a pandemic context and returns to whatever’s next: potentially interesting.

Thought leadership about WordPress: bleh.
Thought leadership about deciding between commodity or custom CMS for a particular use case: potentially interesting.

Thought leadership about Salesforce: bleh.
Thought leadership about how CRM configuration effects sales team behavior and performance: potentially interesting.

I’d like to see some exceptions to this, but thus far I have never seen a platform-focused efficient business that has an internal capacity for genuine thought leadership. I’ve only ever seen that with innovative businesses.

I suspect this is because of the underlying relationship between mature platforms and thought leadership.

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-P

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