Tim O'Reilly discusses open data with the McKinsey & Company Insight:
A platform for innovation It seems to me that almost every great advance is a platform advance. When we have common standards, so much more happens. And you think about the standardization of railroad gauges, the standardization of communications, protocols. Think about the standardization of roads, how fundamental those are to our society. And that’s actually kind of a bridge for my work on open government, because I’ve been thinking a lot about the notion of government as a platform. So much thinking in government is around, “Well, we’re going to build a program to solve this particular problem.” But the most successful government programs to me seem to be platform kinds of programs. And I’m not talking about, “Oh, well, the government funded the Internet originally.” I’m talking about things like GPS. The fact is that this is a military program that, through a crucial policy decision, was opened up for civilian use. If this was still just for fighter pilots, we wouldn’t have that Google self-driving car. We wouldn’t have maps on our smartphones. And that’s why I think this idea of a platform and the idea of a market go hand in hand so well. Because when you build a really powerful, effective platform, you do enable a market.