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Platform making - 12 May 2006 Back to stories index

A good looking white color business envelop arrived in the morning of one Monday. It was sent from a company I did not know of. The cover letter starts with the announcement that our company was selected by a number of their members as one of the outstandarding companies for a business category. So it goes and, at the bottom of it, the letter requests us to confirm our attendance to that award presentation ceremony in their country.

Well at that point I was surprised, purplexed, and somewhat curious about how we as a small company doing relatively limited services to our clients being selected to receive the seemingly highly reputable business award. It must be a mistake. Or are we really very good so as to be selected by that number of people from the higher circle of international business world who we never knew.

Enclosed in the envelop are a form to fill up our details, a broachure of their organization and a sheet of list of companies who were awarded the trophy previous year.

Then a glance at the bottom half of the form gave me a break. The conditions to receive the award are outlined there. One of them is that we must pay several thousands Euros/US$ to attend the ceremony to receive the award, trophy, stickers, etc. Well that is ridiculous to pay that amount of money which is a lot for us to receive a trophy which could cost no more than a few hundreds Euros/US$ to fabricate. Besides they say we were selected for our business excellence, so why we are to pay to receive the award? Later communication confirmed that unless we pay we would definitely not be awarded.

Talking about non-technological platforms or forums or standards, or whatever we call them, we could see there are a lot of them and new ones being invented time after time. Many are reasonable and useful, however some of them are purely to make some kinds of profit for the organizers themselves whilst giving false reputation to the paying participators.

So what is a platform? This could be explained using examples from the technology. You are reading this page over the Internet connection. Internet is a large platform on which so many web sites, means of communication, and others run. We talk to each other, send and share messages and files with other people, and publish web pages on the Internet. So whoever constructed and control the Internet is the owner of this platform. This is a huge example. Another example could be an operating system of computers. If you build a good operation system and successfully market your product many people will be using your operating system in their computers. So smaller (secondary or accessory) programs and softwares such as graphic designer, phone book, fax sender/receiver will be designed so as to be able to work on your platform. You are the owner of the platform that is used by majority of the world's computers. In essence you are the builder of the world on which other people literally live. Your platform finally becomes something indispensable. If someone does not use your platform he/she will be out of the world because that makes one unable to communicate with others who are all using (accepting) your platform. Think about that situation - it is no wonder you could become a billioner by selling tickets to your platform.

But money is not the only thing you earn. It is, in fact, just the top of the ice-berg. In addition to money you earn respect and reputation, belief, love, - - -, from the people; and most importantly in certain cases the ability to monitor and control the people.

In non-technological fields how do you make a platform that work? Wait, why I am using the word "work"? Well at this point it just means that your platform is accepted by many people - just that. OK then let us think that you are from a so-called poor or under-developed or un-developed country. You don't have a degree from a so-called internationally welknown university. Nor do you have an internationally acceptable experience. But you believe that you have enough knowledge in eco-tourism from your 20 years of quite successful operation and self learning, so you set up a platform issuing certificates to the would-be eco-companies to certify them ecologically friendly organizations. Do you think you would be successful? The answer is maybe no no, not in this world at this time.

So you ask again, 'Hey you still don't answer the question: how does one make a platform?' The answer is complex and never be complete. At first one must understand that one needs to work really smart and hard and must have really good knowledge and skills, and must be willing to work for the betterness of the people and the world. But this alone may not guarantee the success. Remember "success" depends more or less on whether or not people believe you, love you, or respect you. The belief and respect can come if people know and understand that you are the one to count for. But in the very begining you are likely to be an unknown person to the world.

Now it comes the sad part of the story. Like it or not, there already exists a pattern of flow of love, respect, and belief around the world. Ones of the main determinents in this flow pattern are the place, and the people and things of the place. How this pattern evolve, which deserves a separate research, will not be discussed here. Now ask yourself whether you naturally belong to the group who receive the lion share of the love, respect and belief? Having a PhD from a respectable university, and being a citizen of a reputable country will give you a very good advantage. If you don't have these things you are handicapped. If you are brave enough to enter the race then try working two or three times harder.

However don't forget that making platform should not forcast to earn yourselves love, respect, knowledge, skills, friendships and money. After all, platforms if they should exist should be for the benefit of the people and the world.

Lastly you would want to ask me what platforms I have seen during my stint in the business. Well there are a lot. I would love to mention some of them here:- The importance for everyone is to see if the platform is really necessary, if it is actually useful and making life of (all) people and the world better, or whether or not it is just un-necessarily classifying the people to earn somethings for themselves.

This is just a brief thought I have tonight about platform making. There will certainly be a lot of stuff to study and research. I hope some students in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar will want to do research in this field.
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