Platforms are the future of intelligence, so let's not make them parasites (Gideon Rosenblatt)

Platforms are the future of intelligence, so let’s not make them parasites

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

This is a good piece, excerpted by Enlivening Edge from Gideon Rosenblatt’s original article of the same name published at

Some key takeaways from the article:

  • All organisations, regardless of size or sector, learn and do work

  • Tech companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook learned to use big data analytics on data generated through user engagements

  • They are now automating core aspects of their organisational learning with machine learning, using the feedstock of massive streams of (currently free) data which comes from end users working voluntarily with automated interfaces to upload “user-contributed content” and serve themselves without employee assistance

  • Platform organisations in particular (such as Amazon, Uber) squeeze out both internal and external costs by coordinating contributions from suppliers and end users

  • While the automation of feedback loops built by platforms creates massive advantages and attracts more and more users to create an upward spiral of intelligence within their markets, they also often have undesirable side effects

  • This is because technologies have context-derived purpose embedded in them by the organisations which created them and use them, and which play out through their strategies, laws, cultures and norms

  • The “code within the code” of platform businesses is the same as the primary purpose of business in general – to maximise returns for shareholders

So, maybe we should be asking ourselves a few questions, such as:

  1. Should these kinds of platforms be run as for-profit businesses at all?
  2. Should platform businesses have any shareholders other than their users, as completely equal shareholders?

Interested to know your thoughts …