The City as a Platform

Kudos to O’Reilly Radar for its recent coverage of New York as a business (or Governance) platform. Like most people who cover this area, O’Reilly’s first up coverage is about data – but data is just the juice, the oil or gas. What it’s powering is a platform that allows highly scaled interactions – in this case between 4 million people who have an opportunity to re-set the way New York is run on a day-to-day basis.

That idea of ‘running’ a city is a big re-frame project. City officials, in the platform era, don’t run the city in the way conventionally understood.

Citizens become part of a new raft of services that make the city more efficient, safer and more enjoyable. Amit Mehta over at Myvirtualnighbor is trying something similar from the bottom up.

Part of the reframe is also the way we understand how business platforms function, and what their core purpose is.

In the Elastic Enterprise, we make the point that platforms allow highly scaled, often global, and real-time communications, at ultra low cost. At their best they tend to automate the contractual elements of communications and negotiation. So as well as being unique historically, in the number of people who interact through them, they also reduce business friction to a minimum. Low cost-highly efficient!

Take a look also at O’Reilly’s coverage of citizen engagement.

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