Publication Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2009

Abstract

Product and system designers have long exploited opportunities to create families of complex artifacts by developing and recombining modular components. An especially common design pattern has come to be associated with the concept of a ‘platform’, which we define as a set of stable components that supports variety and evolvability in a system by constraining the linkages among the other components. Our goal in this chapter is to shed light on the relationships between platforms and the systems in which they are embedded, in order to better understand firms and industries where platforms play an important role. We begin by reviewing the use of the term ‘platform’ in three distinct but related fields: product development, technology strategy and industrial economics. Although the term is used in diverse ways that seem difficult to reconcile, we find a number of common threads – most importantly, the conservation or reuse of a core component to achieve economies of scale while reducing the cost of creating a wide variety of complementary components.

Discipline

Computer Sciences | Systems Architecture

Research Areas

Information Systems and Management

Publication

Platforms, Markets and Innovation

First Page

19

Last Page

44

ISBN

9781848440708

Identifier

10.4337/9781849803311.00008

Publisher

Elgar

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.4337/9781849803311.00008

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