Businesses exist to deliver desired products and servicesto their markets. The efficient and effective design and development of products meeting market needs is a critical process which must be performed and managed effectively for a firm to remain viable. Product design and development has been dealt with at some length in the literature with regard to the architecture of assembled tangible products (e.g., automobiles (Abernathy 1978), power tools (Lehnerd 1987), production equipment (Henderson and Clark 1990), and computers (Meyer and Roberts 1988)), and process design for non-assembled tangible products (e.g., glass (Utterback 1994)). Less attention has been paid to the architecture for the delivery of services (Chase and Hayes 1991, Harvey and Filiatrault 1991, Heskett 1993, Heskett and Schlesinger 1994), and almost no research has been done with regard to the design and delivery of information 1 products and services. The worldwide economy is shifting from one based predominantly on physical goods and energy to one based on information goods and knowledge. Yet we do not understand much about the transformation to an information-based economy comprising firms whose core competency is their ability to create, access, or add value to information. This paper focuses on the effective design of information products. It develops a framework for organizing, managing, and building a robust information technology platform for the effective design and develop of information-based products and services. Based on that framework, we develop a means for assessing the strategic positioning and defensibility of information products firms.