Some excerpts about platforms from B. Bratton's "The Stack"
"As opposed to other macro governance institutions, platforms do not work according to premeditated master plans; rather they /set the stage for actions/ to unfold through ordered emergence."
"Standardization of essential components produces /an effect of generative entrenchment/ by which one platform's early consolidation of systems (formats, protocols, and interfaces) decreases a User's opportunity cost to invest more and more transactions into that particular platform, while it increases the costs to translate earlier investments into another platform"
"Platforms' mediation of User-input information may result in /an increase in the value of that information to the User/... Platform economics provides then two surpluses: (1) User surplus, in which the information is made more valuable for the User once involved with the platform at little or no direct cost to that User, and (2) platform surplus, that is, the differential value of all User information for the platform is greater than the costs of providing the platform to Users."
"An ideal platform architecture is one that produces a strategic minimum of new content into its own communication economy. /An ideal platform is like an empty diagram through which Users mediate new and archived information./ A search engine, for example, does not produce new Internet content for its Users, but rather structures the value of content that other Users produce.
"Platforms may respond to User inputs immediately and may draw on archived rules to recursively govern those interactions in real time, or it may act back on those interactions only once some qualitative or cumulative threshold requirement has been met, perhaps by many Users at once. /Platforms govern both instantaneously and cumulatively./
"/Platforms that organize existing systems and information tend to achieve generative entrenchment more quickly/ than those that seek to introduce new systems from scratch. Users will make tactical use of some platform interfaces to link some existing systems, and in doing so they are incentivized to incorporate more of their own interest within these systems."