Platform Risk

The degree to which a company depends on a platform or ecosystem.


  1. Zynga depends on Facebook
  2. Logan Paul depends on YouTube
  3. Firefly depends on Uber
  4. Pigeon depends on Gmail
  5. TikTok depends on Apple
  6. Drake depends on Spotify
  7. Netflix depends on AWS
  8. Smile depends on Shopify

What’s the problem?

What’s the upside?

  • You’re in a smaller pond (compared to the internet)
  • You can focus on what you do best

What’s the caveat?

Dependence can go both ways. Some apps or artists have enough influence to materially affect the experience of users. Drake has a brand. TikTok has a network.

So what?

  • Remember that you’re on a platform
  • Build a moat if play on platforms
  • Build a direct relationship with your audience
  • Build a platform. If you can’t beat them, join them.

What else? Let me know on Twitter. — The irony is not lost on me.