All posts by admin

Vertical Is on the Horizon of the On-Demand Economy

The on-demand economy is big and getting bigger. Brands such as Uber and Airbnb dominate the U.S. sharing scene right now, but the number of companies launching in this industry grows by the day. The trend has even gone global — by 2020, the sharing economy will make up 10 percent of China’s gross domestic product.

Now that people are accustomed to buying online, they want instant access to goods and services. Vertical marketplaces are better suited than horizontal ones to meet this demand. They work in niche fields and therefore offer faster, more efficient matching algorithms. They also provide more detailed product information, delivering better options to consumers and higher-quality conversion rates to companies.

Here’s what lies ahead in the age of vertical.

Read the full article here.

‘Big Data’ Is No Longer Enough: It’s Now All About ‘Fast Data’

Data is increasing at breakneck speeds, with 90 percent of the world’s data coming from a two-year period. But what’s the point of all that information if you aren’t processing it as fast as it comes in?

Here’s where the concept of “fast data” steps up to the plate.

It’s up to business leaders to understand how the dots connect across the raw data and make those correlations themselves. Fast data can get them there.

Read the full article here.

4 Keys to Early-Stage Growth That Will Maintain Your Momentum

Starting a business is one of the most exciting and gratifying experiences for a leader, and the temptation to expand quickly is an enticing one. But with 74 percent of Internet startups ending in failure as a result of “premature scaling,” it’s a temptation that must be avoided at all costs.

Premature scaling can be the death knell of any business. But if you scale properly and keep pace with demand, you’re more likely to grow roughly 20 times faster than those trying to grow too quickly. You also increase your chances of raising capital, attracting customers, and expanding internally.

So how exactly do you scale properly for your business?

Read the full article here.

Addressing the Backlash: What’s an Accurate Picture of the Gig Economy?

As the gig economy rises in both prevalence and power, there will continue to be staunch detractors coming out of the woodwork.

The latest backlash has risen over the release of Spare5, an app that allows users to make extra money during free time by performing quick tasks for businesses, such as tagging photos or writing descriptions for products between other responsibilities. Detractors cite the low income for time worked as a sign of the “nanoization” of labor, where the exploitation of the common man is used to raise profit margins for corporations.

Though the possibility does exist, the main problem with this argument is that it misunderstands the very nature and purpose of the gig economy.

Read the full article here.

‘Sharing Economy’ Companies Like Uber And AirBnB Need To Start Getting Political

Last November, the people of San Francisco voiced their support for the sharing economy — or at least their distaste for a particular type of regulation — by voting down Proposition F.

This proposition was ostensibly designed to address San Francisco’s well-documented rent crisis. However, it would have hobbled short-term rental companies such as Airbnb by limiting vacation rental days to 75 per year and strengthening the city’s enforcement power and penalty fees.

When faced with regulations that could potentially cripple its business in San Francisco, Airbnb did what it believed it needed to do: It went political. Governmental bodies are finally catching up with the sharing economy, and incumbent competitors are using their clout to make the law work in their favors.

Read the full article here.

How Scrappy Startups Are Battling Corporate Juggernauts

The past few months have brought a trend of consolidation in the enterprise space.

In response to the explosive popularity of agile startups like Slack, many enterprise giants have been consolidating power and influence to keep their holds on the industry. On one end of the spectrum, companies like Red Hat and Microsoft are forming strategic partnerships to knock out impending competition on key platforms. Meanwhile, companies like Oracle have been purchasing startups in attempts to subsume their services before these smaller fish grow to take over the pond.

The true motivation of these large companies is clear. Behind these drastic moves is a concentrated effort to stem the growth of startup competition and stop the disruption of this once securely held industry. However, startups can take steps to ensure they remain not only competitive, but also ahead of the curve.

Read the full article here.

Is the Sharing Economy Messing With Your Wealth?

In his recent piece for Time magazine entitled “How the Sharing Economy Is Hurting Millennials,” Reid Cramer concludes with a rather grim statement: “It is our collective responsibility to make sure the emerging ‘share economy’ doesn’t leave Millennials completely devoid of wealth.”

Cramer isn’t anti-sharing; in fact, he’s impressed by Millennials’ ability to reap the collective benefits from expensive, individually owned assets such as cars and homes. What concerns Cramer is that, in this new world, fewer young people own such assets. He points to the fact that “Millennials are lagging behind previous cohorts in their rate of homeownership” as an indicator of “growing generational inequality.” According to Cramer, this lack of assets is shunting Gen Y into a spiral of downward mobility.

As a Millennial, I appreciate Cramer’s concern for my financial security, but I find it a bit misguided, especially in an economic environment that is still feeling the effects of the Great Recession.

Read the full article here.

The Hub and Spoke Model: The Future of the Marketplace

Marketplaces used to take a horizontal approach to transactions. It was all about quantity and servicing as many people as possible — regardless of demographic or industry. Craigslist is the epitome of a horizontal marketplace. The same can be said for Amazon. Both titans provide goods so diverse and expansive that they’re able to meet the needs of almost anyone.

But therein lies the problem. With such diversity in goods, it can become difficult to find what you’re looking for. And when you do, you’re not quite sure whether you’re getting those goods for a fair price — not to mention all those uncertainties involving quality and dependability. In other words, horizontal marketplaces lack the depth necessary for a quality purchasing experience.

It’s time to start thinking vertically. This is where concepts like the hub-and-spoke model come into play.

Read the full article here.

Sustainable Capitalism Is the Next Big Thing in Investing

Rather than equate social impact projects with poor returns, investors who are willing to take the long view can enjoy handsome profits on sustainability initiatives. Many investors became accustomed to fast, high returns after the rapid rise of companies such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. But the Generation model requires more patience because socially conscious companies take longer to reach similar levels of success.

Large-scale disruption will rely on big investment firms because small venture funds can’t commit the kind of capital that social projects demand. Big-time investors need to step up on these opportunities, and evidence already exists that, if they do, they’ll do well.

Read the full article here.

Forget what the candidates say: The ‘sharing economy’ is here to stay

Economic policies are always a primary issue during election cycles, so it’s no surprise that in the build-up to the 2016 presidential elections, there’s already discussion around one of the most contentious business practices of a quickly expanding company.

Uber has taken center stage in the debate around the “1099 Economy,” and political parties seem to be aligning themselves along traditionally binary lines. Republican candidates are coming out in support of free markets and self-regulation, while Democratic candidates favor more active government involvement in protecting workers’ rights.

And yet, despite the fact that these startups have us all talking about the new sharing economy, they aren’t the main drivers of change. If entrepreneurs want to thrive in tomorrow’s economy, they need to understand the full picture.

Read the full article here.