Giraffe is a platform company that allows an expert to automate their work and provide it to users via an online app, or an API. Hypar is doing something similar, Swarm too.*
A platform implies a broad, diverse range of capabilities. Focus is difficult: what problem did Amazon solve? what problem does the iphone solve?
Both of these platforms solve multiple problems. Maybe the primary problem they solved was atomization. Both of these products consolidated multiple features into one interface. Amazon: a million stores into one megastore. Login, payment, search, recommendations and logistics become a coherent whole that was largely invisible to the user.
The iPhone is a browser, an ipod, a gps and a phone all smooshed into one and wrapped in multi-touch. Apple spends a huge amount of effort to automate small tasks (the airpods just sync!)
The users of these products have to carry a lot of things in their heads: anxiety, life admin, relationships.
The users also feel pressure to make good decisions. This is especially acute for professionals who are paid for their decisions, and liable for them.
Excess mental baggage makes it very difficult to make great decisions.
Thinking well, being creative and making good decisions is our customers main problem.
Our mission is to help people make great decisions - we do that by building digital tools that remove kruft and waste brain time whilst providing clear, distilled data. Tools that make design and thinking feel like play.
We want to build a beautiful, democratic system for reasoning about cities and buildings.
This implies one interface that can do many things. It becomes an interactive world, where users can play with ideas, and discover solutions.
*(Giraffe is closer to Swarm in that we've made it easy to 'appify' a grasshopper script, but we don't care what tools experts use as long as they are happy with HTTP.)