Building and managing platforms is extremely difficult, and extremely rewarding.
Google and Facebook represent one philosophy, and Microsoft and Apple represent another; tech needs both, but ultimately platforms are more important than aggregators.
The key to understanding Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods is to understand that Amazon didn’t buy a retailer: the company bought a customer.
Apple was at its best in its most recent keynote: unveiling the sorts of products the company is uniquely capable of creating. The question, though, is whether the company has the vision and capability of making those products into platforms.
AWS has long been a question mark when it comes to Amazon: it’s a good idea, and it makes money, but like it’s parent company, will it ever be profitable? The revelation that AWS is already very profitable indeed is a really big deal both for AWS but also for Amazon itself.
AWS seems to have a dominant position in enterprise computing, but Google is trying to change the rules to favor their inherent strengths.
Money is made at chokepoints, and the most valuable chokepoints are operating systems; Amazon is building exactly that with Alexa.