Every startup in Silicon Valley calls itself a “platform.” But what is a platform, really? It’s a technology that’s open enough and extensible enough that others can build on top of it, with zero or minimal permission required. True platforms are “innovation engines” that create more value than they capture, and generate even more innovation than their creators could imagine. We’re investigating the nature of these platforms in a series of podcasts, sponsored by Pivotal Tracker, and columns by VentureBeat editor at large Dylan Tweney. Tune in to learn the secrets behind the tech world’s most successful platforms.