I have a new post up on the Deloitte Strategy blog.It’s the result of a chat I was having the other day with an economist colleague who opined that “platforms are an essential part of the sharing economy”.
As I point out in the post:
These platforms might be sufficient to kick-start the sharing economy, but they’re not necessary for its long term survival. There are alternative approaches to creating sharing economy solutions that do not rely on a centralised platform.
Platforms solve what we might call the discovery problem. When we’re creating a market it needs a mechanism for buyers and sellers to discover each other.
Rendezvous – where buyers and sellers meet at a common location – is probably the most common solution to discover. It’s also the one that firms prefer as it’s the easiest to monetise.
As I point out later in the post:
The recent emergence of blockchain – a distributed ledger solution – from the shadow of Bitcoin might be a sign that something has changed in the environment, something that is tipping the advantage away from centralised solutions and toward distributed ones.
This could be a big deal, as it blows a rather large hole in the business models of the sharing economy firms.
Check out the post and see the whole story.