Food for Thought 1 | Why are companies such as Instagram and TikTok so successful?

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Why are companies like Instagram and TikTok so successful? They must have something in common and that’s true. Their business models are based on the platform thinking theory. This often causes unprecedented disruption within a branch. Think of Airbnb.The largest hotel in the world without rooms. Platform Thinking is a combination of data, technology and a community.

Instagram and TikTok are so successful because they innovate in a different way

It all has to do with innovation. What do we mean by innovation? There are many theories about this. With innovation we often talk about beating the competition or maximizing return for shareholders. In recent years we’ve learned that this is not the right way to look at this. If we have learned something it is that the goal of innovation is to solve consumer problems.

Which types are there within innovation?

We look at three different types within innovation: the ‘stuff’ approach, the ‘optimization’ approach and the ‘platform’ approach.

The ‘stuff’ approach was the approach in the industrial age to solve consumer problems by creating and producing more things.

 The ‘optimization’ approach uses algorithm. You have things that are not optimally distributed. There is a two-step approach to solving a problem:

  • collect all information about the things that are there;
  • use algorithms to optimally match the right things to the wishes of the consumer.

Google built one of the fastest growing companies that applied the optimization approach to the global information problem.

Platform thinking: a unique combination of data, technology and a community

It’s all about three things

1. Data – the fuel of all platforms

Data is the driving force behind many platforms. You need data to offer relevant services to your user.

2. Technology – the infrastructure

Technology forms the infrastructure of a platform. This includes making data visible and facilitating interaction between users. The technology is the force behind the platform. You only notice the value of this if there is a fault in the infrastructure.

3. Community – the users and the interaction

The community are the interactions on the platform between users and the owners of the platform. The community is often the driving force of platforms, such as at Facebook and Airbnb. Often this is not visible because users do not connect with each other, but only exchange value through the platform. Think of Nest or Apple.

We will fully focus on platform thinking in 2020

Of course we’ve developed Reefler and Sam in the past. Own platforms with own communities. Our own games also work on our own systems.

We are currently developing three new apps based on this theory. We are happy to take you along with our development and are convinced this way of working and applying this theory can also mean a lot to our customers.

We have explained the theory in a simplified way. Putting it into practice will take a bit more work. Do not underestimate how much data you have within your organization. With the right technology, it is possible to use that data to create a community that has real value for your organization. In which way could you implement these three points in your organization? be possible with you?

For Athletic Fitness we will also start working with this theory this year. They are going to invest heavily in this community feeling driven by technology and data. They have described the start well in simple words. This makes the change tangible. At At Athletic Fitness you will not be #Fit but #AthleticFit.

Do you also want to investigate which data you have and how you can create a community with the right technology? Contact us without any obligation to go through our innovation session.

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