Friday, September 30, 2016

Counterpoint: Uber

"... it is a rerun of the oldest sort of business: middlemen insinuating themselves between buyers and sellers."

Writes Mr. Leo Mirani on Quartz here via Ms. Aruna Viswanathan  Mr. Mirani offers a compelling counterpoint to the much hyped Uber for X concept and the build up of the sharing economy.

"There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale—food, laundry, taxi rides. Without that, it’s just a concierge service for the rich rather than a disruptive paradigm shift, as a venture capitalist might say. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins."

The middleman has always been a part and parcel of business from time immemorial.  Real estate and financial transactions being the oldest.  One could say that religions may have cornered the market in creating the man in the middle business, yes?

The article is worth a read and refreshing, though what it highlights as the key reason for such economies to emerge, income inequality, is a bit disconcerting.

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