Owning the full stack unlocks opportunities, good and bad

When you’re building a company or a product, how do you decide whether to own the entire stack or whether to outsource parts of the product? Owning the entire stack could allow you to create a better user experience (vis-a-vis WeChat and how you can text message, order a taxi, or make a doctor’s appointment all in one app), but sometimes this power is wielded in ways that stifle innovation.

To close the loop entirely, AT&T set about designing its own radio sets. AT&T’s new radios were engineered to receive only AT&T broadcast frequencies — and, not surprisingly, only AT&T programming. (via the Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires)

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