There’s a lot to be learned from the sharing economy as people have dubbed this era of crowdsourcing everything from cars to vacation rentals to pet walkers. We as a society are shifting away from owning, and moving toward having access to things we need.
But is trying to become the Uber of video rentals, the Airbnb of yurts, or the TaskRabbit of politicians as easy as all that? Or do you (and yes, I’m throwing you a softball here) need other elements to succeed?
In my mind, this would be the perfect formula for a successful business in the sharing economy:
Nimble thinking like Uber + good design like Apple + agility like Google = sharing economy
Let’s walk through that formula, shall we?
Take Uber’s Ability to Rock an Industry …
Every day, taxi drivers in yet another country are raising their fists against Uber. It’s the demise of the taxi industry, many think. Or is it? Airbnb had the same issue, upsetting the hotel apple cart. And yet, the two companies persist. Thrive even. Neither company likely has the goal of destroying the industry it competes with, but the impact is impossible to ignore.
I, like many Uber customers, am drawn to its efficient use of technology (in New York City we don’t have to telephone the taxi company, but it’s annoying everywhere else). What industry frustrates you with its inefficiencies? How could you disrupt that industry with improved user experience?
Throw in a Dash of Apple’s Solid Design …
Uber wouldn’t be so popular if its app weren’t so easy to use. Set your address. Tell the app where you want to go. Request an Uber. But wait, it gets better. You can view on a map where your driver is, and get notified when he’s approaching. You even see a photo of him so you don’t end up getting into the wrong car.
Apple is the leader when it comes to smart design. The iPhone was a game-changer when it came out. Who thought technology could be sexy and functional? Apply the same concept to your business. Even if you’re not building hardware, you can use clever design on your website, in your products, or even in your processes. Make whatever you sell appealing and easy to use.
Float Like a Feather Like Google …
Google is the infrastructure most of us build our businesses on. If the new algorithm tells us to jump, we ask how high. But those algorithms are based on Google’s in-depth research, which is quick to keep up with how people are trying to game search results. In other words: Google thrives by not resting on its laurels.
It’s inspiration for any business to see how Google’s speed helps it stay ahead of other search engines. How every year it seems that the brand is coming out with new innovation. It’s moving so quickly and pivoting ever so slightly, that no competitor stands a chance of keeping up. Can your brand do that?
Succeed In The Sharing Economy
To succeed in the sharing economy — or in any industry, for that matter — you should take the best of these three inspiring companies and make the mix your own. Results may vary, but I’m willing to bet in your success.
Uber Photo via Shutterstock