In our “industrial” past the “product” has been the key economic driver whereas a manufacturer would produce a widget which would be passed though a wholesaler, down to a retailer and finally on to the end consumer. This has been the way the “product” centered culture” has worked since the start of the industrial age.
However fast forwarding to today, we now see the “product” culture rapidly giving way to a “platform” focused society where a single product will not be the “end sale” or even the main “economic sale” as it will only be the “catalyst” for many future sales. Much like the iPad is the medium for an even larger business model involving the sale of music, videos, games, other applications and the consumption of “advertising”.
As also written in prior posts, the automobile will also become an extended “platform” as the car with it’s after market add ons has been an early example of this concept when linked to the auto after-market industry. However the “after-market” lacked the viral abilities which are found in the “consumable media” industry. Here the primary difference will be a “platform” will generate more add-on sales then it’s own sale price (similar to an inkjet printer, however with greater diversity). Whereas a “product” will remain the focus of it’s own sale.
This is where the “platform” will provide the “venue” as be it an iPad, car or anything in between, the “catalytic” aspect of all of this will be the easy access to “consumable media”…
Editors note: in the case of the economics for a “vehicle” will look something like:
[Total Vehicle Cost] – [ (Value for Transportation)+(Residual Core Value)] = [“Platform Cost”]
Base upon this summary equation, the automobile offers the ability to create a substantial sales “platform” for consumable media. If I were an automotive manufacture, I would be thinking really hard about integrating an iDevice into the vehicle with a connection to a back-end iStore as well as placing an internet hot spot in each “car” so all the personal IP devices could take advantage of the same media consumption channels.