The strength of platforms

I spent part of the weekend updating the sales records and mailing list of my other half and talented artist Gail Brodholt. In the past I’ve kept this on Excel spreadsheets which are very good for mail-merging.

This time round, though, I thought I would experiment with Google Docs. The formatting and spreadsheet functionality is definitely not as fully-developed as Excel, but I discovered Gadgets – one which displays all her past sales on a world map – brilliant! – and one which adds a layer of sophisticated analysis so that we can see how much comes from Art Fairs as opposed to galleries etc.

The other really interesting possibility is the addition of a form, which Google Docs makes a breeze. Once this is emailed to a mobile phone there is now a simple way to update this spreadsheet from anywhere. And anyone can do it.

All this is possible because Google has a powerful platform which it can plug together to offer really powerful possibilities.

Last week there were reports that Google was looking to allow downloading of HD video from YouTube. As it has the Checkout payment platform, it has not only a business model, but the means to make it stick.

The power is in the platform. 

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