disruptees Posts

The Evolution of Trust in the Sharing Economy – Driving the Growth of Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Lyft and Others

The Evolution of Trust in the Sharing Economy – Driving the Growth of Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Lyft and Others

After experiencing rapid growth since its 2008 founding and receiving a recent valuation of $10bn, Airbnb has become a standard-bearer for the much-hyped sharing economy. This socio-economic-technological movement is not entirely new; its roots are in traditional boardinghouses and more recently in 1990s internet precursors such as eBay and Craigslist. But Airbnb differs from, say, Uber, which I covered in my last post. Whereas Uber’s main focus has been on reorganizing the licensed taxi and limo business globally, Airbnb and other newcomers facilitate the matching of unused or surplus space owned by private individuals with travelers seeking a cheap, personal form of accommodation. What are the key ingredients for Airbnb’s ongoing success, and how should incumbents disrupted by Airbnb respond?

Uber – Taking on The Global Taxi Industry One City at a Time

Uber – Taking on The Global Taxi Industry One City at a Time

Uber seems to be taking the world by storm, disrupting the taxi industry and creating controversy everywhere, especially in Europe. The latest attention-getting company news, on June 6, was about a new $1.2bn. round of venture and other funding that gives the business a post-money valuation of $18.2bn. What’s going on? Are VCs and other investors hyping a promising new mobile app just to generate another massive IPO payday for themselves? Or is there something more substantial afoot? Astonishingly, Uber is already serving passengers in 128 cities in 37 countries, and doubling revenues every six months. Other industries such as rental cars, package delivery, auto makers, and even other transportation firms are becoming wary of the potential impact on their businesses as Uber eyes other target markets. How can incumbents in the taxi industry deal with this new threat in their midst? And how big can this thing get?

We’re Not Gonna Take It! No to a Comcast Monopoly and Yes to Net Neutrality

We’re Not Gonna Take It! No to a Comcast Monopoly and Yes to Net Neutrality

Two far-reaching and inter-locking decisions are pending in Washington: Approval of the proposed Comcast/Time Warner cable/broadband merger, and a decision on whether or not to maintain the policy of net neutrality. With the stark exception of Netflix whose CEO, Reed Hastings, who has spoken out against the merger, traditional media companies like Disney, Viacom, HBO and Univision and video streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu have remained disconcertingly silent, apparently intimidated by Comcast’s bullying tactics. As for net neutrality, it is looking increasingly likely that despite attempts by the FCC to soothe consumer concerns, internet broadband will be separated into fast and slow lanes based on differentiated pricing of what has hitherto been a public utility. Where will these controversial issues end up? Will businesses of all sizes as well as consumers have equal access to internet broadband? Or will cable and broadband become the sandbox of one dominant corporation?