marketplace 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?

Nobody Likes a Bully – Strategic Implications of the Amazon-Hachette e-Book Pricing Dispute

Nobody Likes a Bully – Strategic Implications of the Amazon-Hachette e-Book Pricing Dispute

No doubt there’s more than meets the eye in the current stare-down between Amazon and book publisher Hachette over e-book pricing. The entire book industry, including all the major publishers, is watching with bated breath to see which side will win because any deal is likely to become the model for e-book pricing going forward. Both sides have their point of view – for example, Amazon is still smarting from having to adopt the Apple-inspired 2012 e-book pricing deal and thus sell some titles at a loss. Now that the company is under serious pressure from Wall Street to finally start generating real profits, CEO Jeff Bezos may refuse to bend and be willing to risk the ire of publishers, authors, and even customers to get his way. Because of its dominant market share, Amazon is running a serious risk of incurring the wrath of the Justice Department for monopolistic practices, and it seems to have forfeited public sympathy to this point. This article studies the specific topic of power – how abuse of it can impact the dynamics of an entire industry, and the strategic and tactical choices facing Amazon today.