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Platform Leadership: How Intel, Microsoft, and Cisco Drive Industry Innovation Hardcover – April 29, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1st edition (April 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578515149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578515141
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Certain products, like the VCR and the microprocessor, are far more valuable as the center of a network of ancillary items than they ever could become on their own. Platform Leadership, by Annabelle Gawer and Michael A. Cusumano, examines how a handful of firms has maximized this position--or are attempting to do so--and proposes a framework that other businesses can use to establish similar game plans. Combining original research with analysis that draws upon their experiences as professors specializing in high-tech strategy, Gawer and Cusumano focus on Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Palm, NTT DoCoMo, and supporters of the Linux operating system to show how to establish and expand this vital hub positioning. Their four-pronged approach concentrates on scope (what firms produce on their own and encourage others to produce), technology (how much detail about product architecture and design they should disclose to outsiders), alliances (how collaborative or competitive their relationships with those outsiders should be), and organization (what structures best balance subsequent external and internal conflicts). The examples selected illustrate varying methods for walking the fine line required to achieve "platform leadership" and will provide food for thought along with practical guidance for others interested in attaining similar status. --Howard Rothman

About the Author

Annabelle Gawer is Assistant Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hobie Bryan on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is an extension of the excellent Sloan (MIT) article Ms. Gawer co-wrote a couple of years back. The book does an excellent job of articulating the concepts of modularity in design, and the management of technology ecosystems.

It is easier to gain a market if your interests are aligned around a platform that is well organized. At the same time, the large platform leaders she cites (Intel, Microsoft, Cisco) are hardly benevolent organizations....so it seems that a small degree of skepticism should accompany accepting anything that the 'platform leader' offers. This look at what leadership means is very enlightening, and made me wonder how open source solutions can succeed without a change in tactics.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"a highly effective way of skirting antitrust law" - Professor Ross Anderson. This brilliant book shows how to lock in your customers and lock-out your competitors without falling foul of anti-trust law. Read, learn, inwardly digest ... then go out and make a killing. No serious marketing executive can ignore this book.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Philip Greenspun on May 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Having spent five years trying to establish an open-source software platform standard, in retrospect it would have been awfully nice to have had this book. If you're going to compete with the big commercial firms you have to be comparable to or better than they are in as many areas as possible.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Noyes on November 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This insightful book looks at how companies build a businesses on "network effects". The key case studies are MS, Intel and Cisco. If I had to summarize this book in 1 sentence: build a platform and a business model where multiple companies can add value and be profitable (constellation of ISVs, VARs and Service Providers). Book also covers NTT 3G, Palm, Linux.
Case studies are analyzed on how they used the "4 levers of Platform Leadership": 1) Scope of Firm, 2) Product Technology/Architecture, 3) Relationships with external complementors, and 4) Internal Organization.
Very well written.
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