• Andrew Collins

How Über, Airbnb & Yelp are Keeping Everyone Honest

Updated: Jun 10, 2019


We’re now living in an age where technology has the power to completely and irreversibly disrupt industries. Innovators like Uber, Airbnb and Yelp are doing just this in their respective industries. In doing so, they’re creating thousands of new jobs, finding previously undiscovered value, and giving more power and choice to consumers. This being said, not everyone is winning. Likewise, not everybody is safe. Middle men, old model agencies, and companies alike have never been more vulnerable to the powers that the web and connected society provide.

There’s never been a more exciting time to be an entrepreneur. Inefficiencies are everywhere. No industry is safe, as they are being targeted  by mavericks trying to create more value for customers while redesigning the way that it’s currently done. Tourism, transport, real estate, human resources, domestic services and more are all being remodeled to service a new type of customer. A customer who won’t settle for second rate service. Customer goals have shifted in the sense that they are expecting more, they don’t want to wait, they don’t want to talk, and they want fair pricing, speed and transparency. Smart entrepreneurs are listening to this and acting with incredible speed.

The ‘red flags’ are everywhere.

How many times do you experience a poor product or service and leave feeling as if you could change it yourself? How often do you feel as if they’ve let you down and that it must be stopped? Businesses of every range in scale all service the same customers, and it’s those customers who are now enjoying very different experiences with this shared and connected economy. If you can’t recognise how your product isn’t optimally satisfying your customers, you can be sure someone is working on it right now as is evidenced in the taxi industry.

Everyone can play.

Twenty years ago, if you wanted to learn something, you had to go to school. If you wanted to go somewhere, you had to use public or private transport. To travel, it was hotels or less but now we have alternatives to all of those. Take a look at Udemy, which allows you to create your own course. Airbnb allows you to rent your bed room out; whereas, Über gives everyone their own personal driver. These companies all share one thing in common.  They allowed regular people to exploit their knowledge or physical assets and give them an outlet for distribution.

So what can you do about it?

Adapt fast.  If your business or service is not giving the customer what they expect you can be sure your time is coming.  Technology, web, and even your customers give you the same powers as these innovators – it’s up to you to explore where you are vulnerable.  How are you giving the customer the perfect experience? Is it transparent?  Is it fair pricing? And what can be uniquely yours?

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