What is Platform Risk
As explained by Startup Illustrated the risks fall into 2 categories:
- Platform moderation
- Platform existence.
An app I like recently got priced out of the API it builds on top of (Apollo)
Assume any products or services you’re building on top of can & will cease to exist. How exposed is your product to those pieces failing? How easy is migration? What impacts your core service provision?
Some platforms with risk exposure when building & delivering a product:
- Hosting infrastructure
- Version Control systems (github goes down & you can’t ship changes)
- 3rd party API’s in your product
- Internal communication tools
All of these are subject to platform risk. You can’t de-risk yourself 100% & that’s not worth attempting. Identify your core domain, and de-risk that as much as possible.
Content creators also face platform risk when it comes to distribution of content, but that’s another post, I digress..
Example of my platform Risk
Spotify is my main tool for curation, I have hundreds of playlists on there, and about 9 750 liked songs at the time of writing. Music disappears off Spotify a lot of the time, which means I’m at risk of my beloved collection eroding over time.
A big chunk of the experience on goosebumps.fm is reliant on the Spotify API, & I don’t like that.
A few mitigation strategies:
- I’m recording and hosting more of my own mp3’s in the form of DJ mixes & podcasts, as opposed to track previews powered by the Spotify API.
- Using more than one music streaming service (I don’t keep secondary accounts active all year)
- My favourite: building an offline collection of lossless music, via bandcamp