At #mtpcon San Francisco, Brandon Chu, VP of Product at Shopify, provides some insight into what he considers the most interesting challenge in his career: managing platforms. In this talk he shares what platforms can mean for our product strategies, and what his team learned as they discovered how to build a platform at Shopify.
What are Platforms?
“Platform” is one of the most ambiguous terms in tech, so Brandon begins with his definition of a platform, particularly in contrast to “products”. A product is building something to ship to customers, a platform is building a place where other builders or creators can build things to ship to customers. And while that seems like a small distinction, when you’re building platforms, you aren’t able to control what the end user sees – you’re only able to control who you let build on your system.
There are three main types of platform:
- Developer platforms – these ar…