What Do Uber, Airbnb, and LinkedIn All Have in Common?
When I step back and look at what is happening in technology, I believe the next wave of disruptive, hugely successful companies, are developing a strategic data asset over time. A data asset that lets them rapidly expand into other adjacent markets. A data asset that cannot be replicated by competition, unless they become as broadly adopted as the leaders they are chasing.
Let’s look at a few examples to highlight my thoughts.
LinkedIn – Who Else Owns Your Global Business Profile?
LinkedIn owns the business network today with over 300 million business professionals on their platform. I believe that soon they will challenge salesforce.com in the next evolution of CRM. Although they are missing some of the key CRM-like functionality, they have a strategic data asset that no one else in the world has, and that is an accurate, up-to-date version of everyone’s business profile, work history and skills (okay a stretch on the last point). A few questions to ask:
- How hard would it be for them to build out the needed CRM capabilities like, activity and pipeline management and forecasting?
- How hard would it be for them to better manage the privacy and rules, so that businesses could keep some data private, while still getting the benefit of the global business network on LinkedIn?
So although not in the traditional CRM solution space today, LinkedIn has a strategic data asset that could quickly make them a very real player in that solution space in the future.
Uber – Who Else Knows More About the Logistics of Urban Delivery?
Although many only think about Uber as a better way to get a quality ride quickly, what they have really developed is a reliable, scalable way to better manage high demand, local products with idle inventory. And due to Uber’s success they have amassed incredible amounts of data on the logistics around urban delivery. This data set provides value to the end consumer by giving full transparency into the ride experience, but also to the drivers – as they become more effective with their time, and therefore make more money.
But as the Uber Ice Cream experiment showcased, why couldn’t they use this same data to provide competitive advantage in other similar services?
- On-demand moving services
- On-demand grocery items
- On-demand household repairs (would love to use the UberPlumber app)
Once the issues over “trusting” Uber again subside, I believe they will be able to extend the original value proposition of on-time (as expected), high quality delivery to other services that require the same level of transparency and quality of information to both the consumer and the inventory marketplace.
Airbnb – Who Else Can Play the Perfect Match-Maker Between You And Your Travel Experience?
Airbnb has disrupted the hospitality industry forever, bringing together the fragmented “Bed n’ Breakfast” market with the mainstream traveller. Today they have over 800,000 listings and have had well over 10,000,000 nights booked since the company was founded in 2008.
The strategic data they are collecting, is something that hotels can only dream of, as it goes far beyond just when, where and how much you spend on a room. On top of room bookings, they know the full profile of the visitor, the details of the reviews, and the descriptions of the listings, with provides key information on local neighbourhoods.
Ultimately they have the best chance at becoming the worlds smartest“big data driven” travel agent. For example, they already know that if you are from Knoxville, TN – you are most likely going to want to go to Washington D.C., and if you are from San Francisco or Brooklyn, you should also see listings in your home city, as often you are booking for friends and family who are visiting you.
As they continue to collect more data, and get better and better at recommending where and when to go, or stay, it is easy to see how they can add on additional recommendations that go with travel.
It is already reported that Airbnb will be experimenting by offering home dining experiences as part of the lodging offering in select cities. Makes sense, you are already trusting AirBnB and the host by staying with them – why not do other things they recommend?
At Nudge we are building a strategic data asset of our own. By helping business professionals grow relationships from their weak connections, we will soon map out the true relationship map (not just connections) of the global business network. And by doing this, we can learn how people nurture and grow relationships, so we can help others do the same.
As you think about your business and where are you going – what strategic data asset are you building to ensure you are sticking around for good?