Kevin Werbach writes about the likely winners in the converging world of computing and communications: Microsoft, Sony, Nokia (all three mentioned in the WSJ article I just posted), IBM, AT&T and some of the dotcoms. The list excludes the content and IT hardware companies.
His introduction is something every tech entrepreneur should read, memorise and live (emphasis mine):
In a network-centric world of relentless commoditization, there are only two ways to thrive for an extended period: Go small or go big. Small means building a defensible niche product that that doesn’t threaten anyone. Apple represents the upper bound for this strategy. It can be a comfortable life, but your upside is limited. The big option is really, really hard. Any competitive advantage and source of profits today could be someone else’s free giveaway tomorrow. Just look at how Microsoft decimated Netscape. The only way to win is to develop a core asset that becomes a platform. As I wrote three years ago in the Harvard Business Review, that means providing that platform to others instead of holding it close to the vest.
Build a platform, and get others to build on it. That is what we have to do in Emergic and BlogStreet.