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Comments

Sivaraman Swaminathan

I agree with Fred Parnon's comments on this post and that your thoughts on 'platform vs products' being applicable to most companies.

Fantastic Post.

Arnie McKinnis

I seem to remember a few years back when GM purchased EDS - and there were several articles about how Ross Perot was going to help the GM board see things differently. Never happened, Mr. Perot finally left GM alone, walked away from the company he created, and started another company. Hopefully, Mr. Jobs has a better run at Disney.

Corrie Bergeron

A good analysis. Both Apple and Disney are closed societies, and likely to remain so. That doesn't mean they will be unsuccessful, though.

You missed a key point. Another word for "relationship" is brand. And Disney and Apple are ALL ABOUT branding.

David

Three things:

1) You fell into the common trap of using the word "ironically," when you really mean "not surprisingly."

2) I've worked for Steve Jobs. It's no fun. There's not a lot of appreciation. He rules by fiat and fear, not by building consensus.

3) Disney is known far and wide as being one of the worst companies in the world to work for. Their culture is extremely suppressive. They take two years to pay even small consultants. Their culture needs improvement before anything else mentioned above can take place.

Is Steve Jobs the right guy for that?

Let's just say I'm not buying any Disney stock.

Fred Parnon

Excellent analysis. But I'm wondering whether your analysis applies much more broadly -- not just to media companies (where distribution costs are fast converging towards zero) but also to industries where distribution costs/scarcity are still significant. Consider, for example, the crisis in the American automotive industry. Distribution costs are, of course, still signficant for cars and trucks, and probably always will be. But isn't there still a great need (and opportunity) for struggling companies like GM and Ford to use the Internet to become "relationship companies" and not just product companies? Don't car companies need to treat cars (and automotive software) as more of a "platform" where third-parties can contribute value? Don't car companies, like media companies, have to build networks to get better faster? If so, is distribution cost/scarcity really the key? Or rather is it just one factor, among many, pushing practically all companies in the same direction -- to use the Internet to build closer relationships with customers, partners, suppliers, and everyone else?

Alexander Osterwalder

Wow - This "contrarian" view is excellent. To me this sounds a lot like the (buzz-) talk of Web2.0 which is all about fostering the collective intelligence of large scale networks. With the end of distriubtion scarcity media companies have to aim at becoming platforms that attract global (independant) micro-chunk creativity on the one side and build customer relationships on the other side. Could MySpace.com be the model?

Rajan

Excellent post !! I enjoyed reading this very much.

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