Platform Innovation™ Weekly Round Up

Here’s what we’ve been reading this week:

1. How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other 

Great look at the challenges of building trust in a platform and the role that establishing rules and standards plays in that process. The author also compares the process of building trust in a product marketplace vs. a services marketplace and how they differ. The role human interaction plays in this process is particularly interesting:

“Most of these marketplaces try to maximize that feeling of interpersonal connection. That’s why Lyft—slogan: “Your friend with a car”—encourages riders to sit in the front seat like a friend rather than in the backseat like a fare. It’s why Airbnb hosts are asked to include large photos of themselves on their profiles, and why the company urges hosts and guests to communicate with each other before every stay. It’s why the Feastly website includes personal biographies of every chef and encourages pre-dinner-party communication. “There are psychological studies up the wazoo about how we mistrust people when we don’t know them,” says Charles Green, a trust expert who advises companies like Shell and Accenture. “But we don’t mess with people we know.””

2. On The New Edge Network and The Future of Local Commerce

Steve Cheney looks at how new tech like iBeacons will revolutionize the retail store:

“This fundamental lack of context about mobile users has almost completely blocked intelligence required to attribute online actions with offline behavior. It has basically been impossible to close the data attribution loop. But an elegant technology called iBeacon is about to change this, and it has massive implications for the future of online to offline commerce … iBeacon is not a hardware play. It’s actually a way to distribute software to create the first API layer for the physical world.

This change means that platforms will start to play a bigger role in retail over the next decade — or as Cheney put it, this will cause the “applifying [of] the physical world.”

3. Sharing economies are here to stay

Nice overview of the growth of the sharing economy and OuiShare Fest 2014, a sharing economy conference that just took place in Paris. The sharing economy is a subset of platforms that typically includes product and service marketplace platforms.


Filed under: Platform Innovation | Topics: Airbnb, iBeacon, platform thinking, platforms, sharing economy

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