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Invisible Engines : How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries - David S. Evans

Invisible Engines

How Software Platforms Drive Innovation and Transform Industries

Paperback Published: 1st April 2008
ISBN: 9780262550680
Number Of Pages: 408
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Winner of the Business, Management & Accounting category in the 2006 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Annual Awards Competition presented by the Association of American Publishers, Inc. Software platforms are the invisible engines that have created, touched, or transformed nearly every major industry for the past quarter century. They power everything from mobile phones and automobile navigation systems to search engines and web portals. They have been the source of enormous value to consumers and helped some entrepreneurs build great fortunes. And they are likely to drive change that will dwarf the business and technology revolution we have seen to this point. "Invisible Engines" examines the business dynamics and strategies used by firms that recognize the transformative power unleashed by this new revolution--a revolution that will change both new and old industries. The authors argue that in order to understand the successes of software platforms, we must first understand their role as a technological meeting ground where application developers and end users converge. Apple, Microsoft, and Google, for example, charge developers little or nothing for using their platforms and make most of their money from end users; Sony PlayStation and other game consoles, by contrast, subsidize users and make more money from developers, who pay royalties for access to the code they need to write games. More applications attract more users, and more users attract more applications. And more applications and more users lead to more profits. "Invisible Engines" explores this story through the lens of the companies that have mastered this platform-balancing act. It offers detailed studies of the personal computer, video game console, personal digital assistant, smart mobile phone, and digital media software platform industries, focusing on the business decisions made by industry players to drive profits and stay a step ahead of the competition. Shorter discussions of Internet-based software platforms provide an important glimpse into a future in which the way we buy, pay, watch, listen, learn, and communicate will change forever. An electronic version of this book is available under a Creative Commons license.

Industry Reviews

The prose is accessible, even engaging. And the shrewd analysisbacked up by a great deal of research and a precise narrative of recent business historymore than makes up for the lack of office politics and entrepreneur heroics. Any executive looking to turn his company's product into an engine of growth will want to consult Invisible Engines.

-Om Malik, Wall Street Journal

Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Invisible Enginesp. 1
Speaking in Codep. 17
Both Sides Nowp. 43
Dropouts and Evangelistsp. 81
PONGp. 115
The Palm Economyp. 155
Ba-BA-Ba-BAAAAHp. 183
Dangerous Intersectionsp. 213
With a Little Help...p. 245
Some Lunches Are Freep. 275
When Bigger Is Betterp. 303
Swept Awayp. 337
Selected Bibliographyp. 367
Indexp. 377
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780262550680
ISBN-10: 0262550687
Series: The MIT Press
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 408
Published: 1st April 2008
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.57

Earn 97 Qantas Points
on this Book