There’s a great video of Bill Gates speaking to a venture capital firm called Village Global going around today, in which Gates says that Microsoft losing mobile to Android is his “greatest mistake ever.”
“So the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is,” says Gates, adding “Android is the standard non-Apple phone platform.
But I want to focus on what Gates said next, because it is incredibly relevant to the current conversation about platforms, regulation, and antitrust.
Here it is, with my emphasis in bold:
It’s very tricky for platforms... these are winner-take-all markets.
There’s been a lot of great work exploring how this plays out over the past few years — you might be familiar with Ben Thompson, who has laid out a very refined argument about the network effect called “Aggregation Theory.”