Social networks and operating systems qualify as platforms because they harmonize objects of completely different orders — individuals, materials, codes, screens — by fitting them into a system of self-similar scales, converting the discordance between layers into an environment of interaction.
Platform resemblances exist at all scales within a complex adaptive system— not only in the typical examples of social networks and operating systems. The relationships they enable, and the emergent behavior they engender, thus characterize hyperconnected organizations.
“The platform is perhaps one of the core ideas to have emerged in the business world in the last decade. Instinctively almost, designing services for the web has driven this thinking.”
Originally published in PARACHUTES: Instructions for Landing in the 21st Century