A platform will always win, part 1

June 16, 2010 at 11:47 am 3 comments

by Tony

When I was a kid I was called Anthony, especially when I got into trouble. Back then, I loved going to Vito’s Pizzeria on Roosevelt Avenue near Main Street in Flushing. Tommy, who worked at Vito’s (Vito spent most his time at Aqueduct Racetrack, while Tommy ran the joint), used to make a mean pie and was very generous giving advice since he was in his early 20’s and had many worldly experiences (I’ve found that most pizza makers do).

As I hit my teens, and the girls started to take an interest in me, Tommy even admitted that I needed to branch out into a venue where I could also entertain the ladies. So I took his advice and began hitting up Adventurer’s Inn, a pseudo amusement park in my neighborhood (think Six Flags only it was one flag and even that flag was at half mast).   The pizza and everything else they served was only okay, but there were rides and games and lots of ways to impress the ladies!   You want to make the girls swoon in 1971, you win them a stuffed animal by tossing a ring around a coke bottle or by showing off your amazing strength by ringing the bell on the High Striker.

While I still love amusement parks and all they offer (I still take my kids to the Boardwalk at Wildwood NJ every year, my tastes have become a tad more refined over the years, and now I am much more demanding. For example, when I go to Las Vegas, I’ll only frequent a resort that offers me everything I need in one package. It’s hot in Vegas, so who wants to venture outside? Once the cab drops me at the Wynn, their gorgeous property becomes my complete entertainment and relaxation platform for the duration of my trip.

Whether you are looking for a culinary experience, an adult game of chance or the Mrs. is looking for the latest and greatest stone-seaweed-exfoliate-wrap massage and latest fashions, it’s all there. Steve Wynn doesn’t do it all himself. He is a master of mashing up best-in-class experiences from the hottest chefs, designers and club promoters around the world. However, he presents it all in a consistent experience. You can book it all through one concierge. You can charge it all to your room. In some cases, the different establishments even keep track of your preferences on a common system.

This platform concept is very similar to what we’ve built at Rearden Commerce. If you didn’t see my boss’s recent interviews in either The Beat or on Tnooz, they are worth a read. He’s drawn a clear line in the sand defining the differences between platforms and independent applications.

His argument, which is  rock solid and hard to dispute, is that technology platforms generally win. Let’s take Microsoft for example.  Microsoft built Windows, and on top of Windows are several interoperating applications (Word, PPT, Excel, Access, Exchange). They key here is that Microsoft built a platform on top of which ANY kind of application can function. They standardized the way we work. We draft documents in Word. We manage our financials in Excel. We present in PPT.  And most importantly, all of these applications work together. Microsoft’s platform is the standard.

We’ve set the bar equally high. Our rich and consistent user-interface makes it one of the best experiences on the market today in both the business and consumer world.   By bringing together a host of services (air, car, hotel, ground transportation, dining, parking, etc), applications (address book, calendar, invitations, notifications), and making them interoperate on any device (desktop or mobile), we’d like to think our platform has distinguished itself, and it is very rewarding to hear from our customers and partners that they agree.   I think even an enlightened pizza guy like Tommy from Vito’s would agree.

Stay tuned for more in part 2.

Entry filed under: Business Travel, Dining, Tony's thoughts, User Experience. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Planes, Trains, Automobiles. . .and then some Do you make your travel program easy for you, or for your travelers?

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. aash411  |  June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Great comments. I would totally agree. Lets use examples of the ipod where they dont make the music but they allow everyone to buy any kind of music in one place. The iPhone does that with apps. As a user of Rearden’s Personal Assistant and as the GM of Corporate Sales at KIE, our clients are so excited about the Rearden Platform. Procurement departments can now procure all services through the Rearden Platform. Its a dream come true!

    Reply
  • 2. Dave Cooney  |  July 16, 2010 at 7:46 am

    Well, this is awkward and I hate to be critical of what is an otherwise informative post, but how can you mention Adventurer’s Inn on a travel blog without discussing the “Fligth (sic) to Mars?” Remiss is what you’ve been. Hopefully there will be a follow up post.

    Reply
  • 3. Tony D  |  July 18, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Dave,

    Who knew someone would come up with what a phote of what was easily the scariest ride at Adventurers Inn. It also served as the best place for a young man to show a young lady he was fearless and could protect her from the world’s dangers All while trying to cop a feel (I know I can’t say that on my blog, can I?). Ah to be young again!!!

    TD

    Reply

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