September 29, 2009 by alunparry
Iphone Ad In The Guardian
There was something really interesting about the iPhone ad in yesterday’s Guardian. It had nothing to do with the iPhone.
I don’t know if anybody saw it. It was a full page ad on the back page of the newspaper advertising 16 things that make life easier.
They were referring to apps that were available via the iPhone.
Yet not a single one had been created by iPhone themselves.
The iPhone app system is where they opened up their programming interface to outside programmers and let them get on with creating useful things for people to use on the iPhone.
And now, sixty odd thousand applications later, their advert shows that they see their value not in the stuff that Apple’s own team have created and slogged over, but in the value that has been created for them by opening up to others.
In fact, their slogan (as you can see on this advert) is: There’s an app for that.
It’s a classic case of the rewards of creating a platform and getting out of the way.
Facebook’s value comes from people outside of the Facebook company (its users), YouTube is the same, and now iPhone are paying for full page national adverts on the back of it.
Even the all powerful Google, where all of us go for web based content, doesn’t own 99% of the content that makes it so useful. It just organises other people’s stuff.
It’s an interesting question for musicians and activists to ponder – what ‘platform’ could we build, get out of the way, and make what we do a million times more valuable as a result?