The Idea Platform
Internationally-known gurus like Jim Collins and Martha Stewart have created brilliant idea platforms, as have domain masters such as Edward Tufte and Andrew Weil. Strong idea platforms include several expressions: first and foremost a book, with a web presence, social networks, live events, tools and methods, a curriculum, even an institution or merchandise.
Each expression carries different elements of the content, sometimes to different audiences, and each has a specific purpose in the idea platform. When the expressions work together, they create respiration—ideas flowing out and flowing in—which adds richness and is necessary to sustainability.
Every idea platform is unique, in terms of the sequence of expressions and the value streams created. The book may come early in the sequence and drive the other expressions, or a web presence may come first and lead to a book. The book can be the primary source of value, or it can be an investment that creates value in other parts of the platform, such as speaking or consulting.
All successful idea platforms are the same in that they enable an author to express important content, reach key audiences, and change the world.