2 min read

Platform thinking

Platform thinking

Thoughts on how to to approach building a platform

I’m on a team that’s tasked with building a platform for other teams to contribute by shipping their solutions into our product, teams are located around the globe, and we aim at providing a coherent and consistent user experience.

Below are some of my thoughts on how I approach this issue, and how to think about platforms, I think they’re relevant to anyone building/working on a platform.

Working our way backwards

There’s a product/service, this product is an outcome of the systems that build it. As Conway’s Law states the way the product looks and behaves mimics the way the organization communicates.

Melvin Conway

That means that if we aim to provide users with a seamless User Experience, and a coherent product, we should approach the problem from the direction of improving communication between teams (people).
Change communication structure, change the product.

Derived from the logic above, that means the platform team should act to create better communications (across its sphere of influence?).

Think of improving communication in multiple areas—

  • Human interaction — Probably the most important factor.
    Make it easy and valuable for people to share, communicate and contribute.
  • DEV/Technology — Enable our systems to communicate better. Make sure everyone can easily access the tools they need to do their work.
  • UX/UI — Shared assets for teams to use, improve, and contribute to.
  • Data — All teams should be able to report analytic events, logs, metrics, etc. in a way accessible and understandable by other teams (duh…). Obviously we expect teams to build on top of this data solutions.

Great platforms

All great Platforms enable better/different form of communication Think Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube, Uber, AirBnB, Windows, the App Store, we can go on and on...
Are you enabling better communication? Can people create new things on top of your platform?

How do I know I’m right?

I don’t…
Would be happy to discuss, my thoughts on this are still evolving.

This post started as some thoughts I recorded.

Check out some of my other articles, and subscribe if you’d like to get notified when I post again.

I’m also on Twitter Eitan Gersh-Kaplawi