Interoperability has been a great benefit to consumers in many areas of the economy. Even industrial technology, where many forces coalesce to circumvent it.

I have written about interoperability specifically several times and have even given a couple of presentations on the subject. None of my work comes close to touching the work of Seth Godin and this podcast on interoperability at Akimbo.

Interoperability is great for users. The ability to connect different components and software applications powerfully enables use. However, suppliers fear that they will lose business by not being able to lock customers into their own proprietary ecosystem. Experienced users easily dismiss the argument that “all our products work better together when we control the system”. We’ve been there. That is not always the case.

The irony…interoperability is actually better for suppliers in the long run.

Check out the podcast as Seth describes indifferent, cooperative, and adversarial interoperability.

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