How Twitter, Google and Apple walk a fine line in platform defense

Innovators who build platforms face a difficult set of trade-offs. To begin with, the very definition of a platform requires buy-in from others — and not simply from the consumers you hope will purchase your product. The consumers and suppliers of complementary products need to make real investments too, investments that will enhance the overall value of …

Google+ comes up short

What problem does Google+ solve for consumers? The answer appears to be: nothing. And, therefore, it solves nothing for Google either. As with many of these social launches — an exception being the ill-fated Google Buzz — the launch of Google+ was limited. Like Gmail and Google Wave, Google relied on invites to scale initial users and …

Agreeing on Groupon

Harry Truman famously begged for a one-handed economist. Why? He was sick of his economic advisers saying "on the other hand." Charles Schultz expressed similar frustration here. The idea that economists hedge their bets or disagree constantly with one another is a feature of the discipline. We see it today over issues such as the deficit and health …