“Uber for X” simply isn’t enough
Sarah Tavel wrote a post a while back about taking the wrong lessons from Uber as many “Uber for X” startups are springing up left and right. She makes a valid point in looking beyond a “me too” model that piggybacks on a company that took a “better, Faster, and Cheaper” to the next level. The value proposition here is building a scalable platform combined with laser-focused execution on solving a fundamental problem. This is the key differentiator, beyond just building an app that uses location awareness and intelligent billing to solve a basic problem via collaborative consumption.
Having an understanding of traditional business models holds more weight than simply jumping on the “Uber for X” bandwagon. This is reminiscent of Google’s early days when search engine sites proliferated left and right. Of course, the superior algorithm won that battle, further proving the “me too” approach seldom works. This time around, however, it’s different considering some research supporting the tidal change. While the “me too” approach simply won’t work, the opportunity abounds.
PricewaterhouseCoopers has been doing some intense research on the impact of the New Economy, the Sharing economy. At this point, it’s adapt or perish and we have to take notice. Traditional ways of doing business have been turned upside down.
Think about Airbnb, Uber, PHlatbed, Lyft, Getaround just to name a few who are full-on disrupting the traditional business models. PricewaterhouseCoopers projections point in a singular direction growth-wise.
However, PwC also alludes to hurdles the Sharing Economy stalwarts will need to overcome namely; Finance and Regulatory, in addition to scalability and maintaining their position of uniqueness and authenticity. However, with FinTech and Sharing already taking hold within the legal sector, that issue is becoming a non-issue with every day that passes. Notwithstanding, there are still areas that pose a significant friction point. For example, San Francisco allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to Unionize, this may require creativity by our Sharing Economy counterparts in terms of lobbying, political engagement, and attaining a voice within the corridors of policymaking. Look up #NewEconomy #collaborativeconsumption or #Sharingeconomy and you’ll be surprised.
So, no….”Uber for X” is not enough, the same way “Google for X” did not work a few years ago even though traditional business models are in trouble.
Do you believe traditional business models are in trouble?
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