For some time now, technology appears to be trending away from selling products and towards selling products as a service. Netflix lets you stream all the movies you want, Amazon delivers all the books you want. Movies and books are migrating from nouns to verbs. Amazon has migrated from a product to a platform for selling products and they are selling services that they did not create. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all have platforms that enable others to build services. API are extensive so that ecosystems can evolve and support various businesses – even competitors. Trying to build all the services in an ecosystem or network doesn’t scale, so you must build an open platform. Heck, at Linkable Networks, I’ve been building an open platform that changes printed coupons to digital coupons and enables partners to build their loyalty platform using my API.
The consumer side of this is that product ownership is migrating to access. Consumer’s don’t need email servers anymore, we use email as a service. We subscribe to cable and cell services. We’re quickly heading towards not owning any movies, books and music. ZipCar has pioneered transportation as a service. AirBnB is offering hotel as a service. How much longer before education, games and many other things are delivered as services?