Donnerstag, 1. Dezember 2016

Staying Power - the Power of Software Ecosystems

The business model of "platform + complements = ecosystem" is one of the best-scaling business models of today. It has been described by M. Cusumano in 2011 in his book "Staying Power". This book clearly shows why large US companies are successful today, and why many others, like German companies, loose markets. The book has taught me why Germany has not been able to win important IT platforms over the years: compilers, databases, web browsers, operating systems, everything went to the US. There is one single exception: the SAP products were, right from the beginning, planned as a platform with a software ecosystem of consultants, solution providers and plugin complementors.

Platforms create vendor-lock-ins, i.e., the ecosystem is dependent on the platform owner. Wars ("platform wars") are fought about platforms. Platforms can create enourmous large ecosystems with millions of "complementors". 

If Germany wants to have success in IT, it should look at this business model. 

Examples for ecosystems on monolithical platforms owned by a single company

  • Apple and Google appstores - well, everybody knows
  • Atlassian ecosystem (Jira, Confluence etc.)

Examples for ecosystems on consortial platforms owned by several players

These ecosystems are more stable because if a platform owner dies, the platform still has a chance to survive:
  • Eclipse, a layered ecosystem
  • AutoSAR, an ecosystem for control software for cars
  • Genivi, an ecosystem for in-vehicle infotainment (IVI)

Additional Literature

  • Annabelle Gawer, Michael A. Cusumano. Platform leadership. How Intel, Microsoft and Cisco drive industry innovation. Harvard Business School Press
  • Michael A. Cusumano. Staying power. Six enduring principles for managing strategy and innovation in an uncertain world. Oxford University Press. 
  • Slinger Jansen, Anthony Finkelstein, Sjaak Brinkkemper. A Sense of Community: A Research Agenda for Software Ecosystems. IEEE ICSE Companion, 2009.
  • Software Ecosystems. David G. Messerschmitt, Clemens Szyperski. MIT Press

Dienstag, 22. November 2016

Immersive Robotics

Immersive Robotics makes you dive into the robot's view of the world:

Software Institute DLR

Dresden gets a Software Institute, hosted by DLR. Some links below

Smart Clothing

Handy clothes are clothes equipped with sensors and mobile phone chips, such that the mobile phone vanishes into the cloth. In about 10 years, they will be cheap to buy because the prices for sensors and highly integrated chips shrink year by year.

Here an overview of current smart clothes: