Friday, June 22, 2007

Multi-sided Platforms for Business or Software

The paper about Multi-Sided Platforms published by Andrei Hagiu sparked my thoughts about technology platforms vs market platforms and how they relate to each other. Two sided markets of buyers and sellers are most efficiently brought together via a platform, for example the stock market is a platform which has been replicated globally. I think most impressive about the stock market is first it was a platform which leveraged people, and now one driven by technology.

A market platform strives to gain economies of scale the more which is driven through the platform the more you reduce cost. Andrei's paper talks about both reducing the search cost and transaction cost. The paper does not go deeper to understand which software platforms/frameworks can best be used to drive down search and transaction costs. I would suggest the foundation for building a market platform based on technology would have to start with some form of middleware. I however think this can be used to look back in time to consider the market dynamics of J2EE, .NET, Corba, and IMO continues to plague the scripting languages vs structured languages (maybe perception, but none-the-less).

What I learned from Andrei's article is that providing a typical platform which offers economies of scale is only considered a single sided platform. Single sided platforms are business as usual, you sell a product and leverage a platform by which to sell this in greater scale.

A TWO sided (and specifically I refer to a two sided market) builds a platform which aims for economies of scale and positive indirect network effects. The latter to me is more buyers more sellers, more sellers more buyers and a big giant snowball from there. The stock market, Amazon, and your local supermarket are two sided markets. They bring product X to consumer Y in a market place. Technology geared towards two sided markets include the Integration Platform and Enterprise Services Bus (Producer and Consumer).

A multi-sided market (to me) is "something Z" interacting with "product X" delivered to "consumer Y. An example... Happy Meals! In the most current form, Sony Pictures is delivering the message about their movie Surf's Up (something Z), which is interacting with McDonald's food products, being consumed by children (probably not a good thing). In this example "Happy Meals" is the platform, it is the repeatable process. A multi-sided market has economies of scale and multiple network effects.

And finally a multi-sided market "technology" platform enables "something Z" to be created (and arguably deployed) based on the model (both data and services) stored within in "product X". I believe examples of multi-sided market "technology" platforms include, mobile providers, gaming systems and Though I would argue that some of these technology platforms are more OPEN/FREE MARKET driven than others (BREW in the mobile space is annoying). Also, just offering web api's does not make you make a multi-sided market technology platform! You must also provide the ability for "something Z" to be deployed in/on/around your platform.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Creating a Tag Cloud

First I was very frustrated, I was attempting to figure out how to generate a 'field' cloud from a lucene index. I was googling '"tag cloud" generator lucene' and I just could not find my way. My view is google at times is losing the simplicity of it's core strength. I wasted some time, but eventually attempted to search in google's blog search and finally found a collection of "tag cloud" generators. And finally found a java cloud generator as a starting point. And that while interesting as it is fully integrated into hibernate is used to generate a cloud from the index created behind the data within your application.

So... I gave up and built it myself, but got a head start from two projects
a. Luke, Lucene Index Toolbox. Great tool for working Lucene. On the first page there is a list of terms, so I started by reviewing that code base.
b. A good PHP example with some basic CSS and leveraging of SPAN tags, also reviewed the PHP code to see how they randomize and divine strength of item within cloud.

I chose to crawl from my blog and indexing a few times -topN 2000, so not a very large crawl, but enough to generate the dataset. And from that data the cloud on top which is based on the 'content' field, and if you scroll all the way to the bottom there is a cloud based on the site field.

I will post the code once I get it cleaned up. If you need it sooner just let me know.
Here is the example cloud I am able to generate.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Book Review - Audio Books

I 'listen' to audio books on tape/cd/audible. For a period of time I had a commute of almost an hour each way and for that year of time listened to over 50 audio books. At this point I have listened to about 100 and I just bought two more today ( The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick) by Seth Godin and "Codes of Power" ). First the list of 5 audio books in my collection which come to mind immediately.

1. Ten Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Went Out into the Real World by Maria Shriver is a great reflection on life. When I first read it I was caught off guard how good it was.

2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by Jim Collins I am more of a fan of the biographies from Jack Welch and other leaders, but I thought this was a testimony to execution.

3. Night by Elie Wiesel is a story of the Holocaust and while always painful to read about should not be forgotten.

4. Leadership by Rudolph Giuliani - Just love his persistence and execution, a very detailed oriented person. These are the type of business and leadership stories you learn the most from.

5. Bobby Fischer Goes to War: How A Lone American Star Defeated the Soviet Chess Machine (P.S.) by David Edmonds - I 'listened' to this book while painting my son's room (when we has a newborn) a little over three years ago so it just always pops to my head and I enjoyed it.

Here is my current collection of audiobooks (some I had given a rating a few years back), if you want an opinion or start a thread on a book just let me know.

A Passion to Win (Sumner Redstone) (8/10)
A theory of relativity (8/10 - novel)
Alexander Hamilton
And if you play Golf, you are my friend
Anthony Robbins - Get The Edge
Anthony Robbins - Personal Power
Best Practices Building your business with Customer Focused Solutions
Big Picture Investing
Bobby Fischer Goes To War
Brian Tracy - The Luck Factor
Brian Tracy - The psychology of Selling and The Art of Closing Sales
Buffetology (9/10)
Built To Last (8/10)
Codes of Power
Daniel Goleman - Emotional Intelligence
Denis Waitley - How to build your child's self esteem
Dianetics (L. Ron Hubbard)
Dip - Seth Goldin
Don't send a resume
Execution (CD) - Larry Bossidy & Ram Charan - 8/10
First Son
Good business
Good To Great (8/10)
Grammar Smart (CD)
Gravity (Science Fiction)
Harvard Business Review - March 2004
How to become a Great Boss
How to become CEO
How to Challenge yourself and others to greatness
How to get started in real estate investments (3/10)
How to read a person like a book (5/10)
How to supervise people
Joys of Yiddish
Leadership Rudolph W. Giuliani
Life Strategies (Dr. Phil) (3/10)
Lightposts for living (1/10)
Lives of Moral Leadership (7/10)
Lord of the Rings (CD)
MacArthurs War
Maps in a mirror, Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card (Science Fiction)
Masterthinker - Dr. Edward Debono ( 1/10)
Mavericks at work
Me and Hank
Moby Dick - (8/10)
Multiple streams of income
Mystic Places (2/10)
Napolean Hill - The Science of Personal Achievemen
Nicholas Nickleby
Night, Elie Wiesel
Often Wrong, Never in Doubt - Donny Deutsche
On Negotiationg (Mark McCormack) (8/10)
Our lady of the freedoms
Pattern Recognition
Pocket MBA Series - Analyzing Financial Statements
Pocket MBA Series - Growing and Managing a Business
Pocket MBA Series - Leadership and Vision (7/10)
Pocket MBA Series - Sales and Marketing
Pocket MBA Series - Tracking and Controlling Cost
Principle-Centered Leadership - Stephen R. Covey (8/10)
Profitable Growth is Everyone's Business
Purple Cow
Six Days of WAR
Six Sigma -
Somebody's gotta say it
Staying street smart in the internet age
Stephen Covey - Living the Seven Habbits
Ten Things I wish I knew before I went out into the real world - Maria Shriver (9.5/10)
The alchemy of finance
The E Myth revisited
The Essential 55.
The Explosive Child
The Fabric of the Cosmos
The Four Pillars of Investing (CD) (8/10)
The Goal
The Google Story
The great unraveling (8/10)
The innovators Dilemma
The intelligent investor (7/10)
The Japanese Art of War
The lexus and the olive tree
The Long Tail
The No Asshole Rule
The portable MBA in Economics
The Power of Intention
The Richest Man in Babylon and the Magic Story
The roaring 2000s investor
The Secret of Shambhala
The secrets of great investors
The sonnets (Shakespeare)
The Virtues of Aging
The Wild Blue
Tom Jones
When you come to a fork in the road, Take It! - Yogi Berra
Wherever you go there you are
Winning with the Market