To see or be seen
Taking this metaphor further, the obvious examples are applications like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The power of these platforms, barely 10 years old have enabled people around the world to accomplish some pretty radical feats, previously difficult to reproduce.
I ran into an old acquaintance this week who I haven’t seen or spoken to in over 5 years. We knew all about each other’ families, recent vacations and accomplishments before the first sentence could be uttered. We’ve quickly integrated and normalized these now ordinary capabilities into our everyday lives, but this is as close to omniscience as I can imagine we’ve ever been.
To hear or be heard
Back in Mozart’s time, the people who were able to witness his musical talents were limited to the fortunate few who were able to fit into his concert halls. Platforms such has iTunes have leveled the playing field giving anyone on the planet with a smartphone access to billions of ears.
To access something or somewhere that was previously inaccessible
Uber and Airbnb are the newest members in a string of platforms creating a near perfect matching of supply and demand. To match “I have a car” with “I need a car” without the need for any searching, or struggle is an extremely powerful use of the platform model, and I think this is a preview of what is to come over the next few years.