Episode 21 On Platforms

By the end of last episode, we were talking about Pokemon Go as a platform. The idea got both of us excited and we realized there are more we would like to explore. The keyword is platform. It’s like the word “location” to real estate agent as to the tech world today.

00:00 What is Pokemon Go providing or generating as a platform? How is it different comparing to Facebook? Facebook is considered a gigantic platform that hosts social interactions, connections, news, ads, games, etc. It has been taking our attention for such a long time. If Pokemon Go evolves the way like Facebook –– carefully craft everything to grab people’s attention and keep them on the platform, what will it be like?

20:00 Will Pokemon Go last as a game if it’s not adding more features to make it beyond a game?

30:00 We kept saying “platform”, but what exactly is “platform”? Bo gives his definition: (1) high engagement; (2) a lot of users; (3) the service itself is free, but it generates profits from services sit on top of it. We also make comparisons between the platform thinking in China and in the Bay Area. We talked about common platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and also examples like Home Depot, the home improvement retailer in the States, and Haier, the once biggest home appliances company in China.

51:00 And whenever we talk about platform, one name is often mentioned: Wechat. When I think about platforms in China, usually I mean all those feature-compact and all-look-alike e-commmerce or service apps in my phone.