(2011-10-12) Yegge Google Vs Amazon And Others Platform

Steve Yegge thinks Google is better than Amazon at just about everything except using SOA to turn everything into Platform-s. Our Google Plus team took a look at the aftermarket and said: "Gosh, it looks like we need some games. Let's go contract someone to, um, write some games for us." Do you begin to see how incredibly wrong that thinking is now? The problem is that we are trying to predict what people want and deliver it for them... A product is useless without a platform, or more precisely and accurately, a platform-less product will always be replaced by an equivalent platform-ized product... Ironically enough, Google Wave was a great platform, may they rest in peace. But making something a platform is not going to make you an instant success. A platform needs a Killer App... Apple Computer gets it, obviously. They've made some fundamentally non-open choices, particularly around their mobile platform. But they understand accessibility and they understand the power of third-party development and they eat their dogfood. And you know what? They make pretty good dogfood. Their APIs are a hell of a lot cleaner than Microsoft's, and have been since time immemorial... FaceBook is successful because they built an entire constellation of products by allowing other people to do the work. So Facebook is different for everyone. Some people spend all their time on Mafia Wars. Some spend all their time on Farmville. There are hundreds or maybe thousands of different high-quality time sinks available, so there's something there for everyone... The Golden Rule of Platforms, "Eat Your Own Dogfood", can be rephrased as "Start with a Platform, and Then Use it for Everything." You can't just bolt it on later. Certainly not easily at any rate.

(Lists a few of the challenges in managing an SOA.)

(He also makes Jeff Bezos sound like an asshole.)

A separate discussion thread. See esp this post. I want to correct the misperception that this lead to Amazon Web Services. It didn't. S3 was written by its own team, from scratch.

Oct21 update: he posts a follow-up, among other things noting how smart Jeff Bezos is (while not changing his characterization of Jeff being an asshole).


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