Examples of companies that have created a platform for other companies


So far I have come up with the following:

  • Apple (through Apps Store)
  • Microsoft (allowing anyone to develop working software on their platform), creating a virtual monopoly)

There could be other companies as well in non-software fields.

For a better explanation of the context of this question, see http://www.brightjourney.com/q/thinking-startups-building-blocks-larger-corporation

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asked Feb 27 '10 at 19:37
1,567 points

3 Answers


There are a series of game related companies, that build products for other games companies, such as (a small taste, plenty more then listed below)

Also depending on how you define platform, there are companies that provide backoffice tools to build your company, like SAP, Oracle, IBM, Lotus (in addition to Microsoft/Apple)

There are also hosting platforms for code like

I guess it comes down to what exactly you mean by platform. The phrase is too general, and I've been limiting my answer to simply software platforms (let alone say electronics hardware development platforms, or manufacturing platforms, or trading platforms).
There are plenty of examples in pretty much any business or academic focused area that has vendors, both startup and established, providing significant ground work for other groups to achieve their goals. In addition, their profitability and growth is wildly variable consider the scope of groups that "platform" can cover.

Edit: One more, you are most likely aware of Salesforce. Even if they don't like to admit it, they are a software platform.

answered Feb 28 '10 at 01:30
63 points


Seems to me anyone with a good API and plugin/app ecosystem would qualify - Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Atlassian, etc.

And like Scott mentioned, Salesforce is a huge platform with their Force.com offering. I haven't really followed the company, but that seems like a big upside for them. A lot of developers targeting the business market are building on their platform.

answered Feb 28 '10 at 11:03
339 points


I believe Valve's Steam is open to other game developers. Nowadays, a lot of SaaS companies also open up their API to developers.

answered Feb 28 '10 at 12:06
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points

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