I was thinking about my slightly famous quote the other day.
Airbnb, Alibaba, Facebook, blah blah, something interesting is happening......
The weird thing is that we're seeing a resurgence of the middle.
Turns out these days that Airbnb is a pretty poor experience for many people these days. If you're spending less than 5 days, or a group of less than 3 people, you realize the thing about hotels is they know what they are doing. They offer security and competence and scale. They don't ask you to clean up, nor charge $130 linen fees.
Turns out that Taxi companies can get you from JFK to Manhattan for $65, and pay their drivers and pay off a Medallion and keep to clear Health and Safety standards, and make money, while an Uber may cost you double, while denying workers some rights and losing money faster than you can imagine.
Maybe Amazon as a platform connecting buyers and sellers is simply a way to avoid responsibility and pass blame.
Maybe DTC isn't a very good idea, maybe a good way to sell things to get vast trucks to deliver huge amounts of items into a lovely place, which we walk around and pick up things from before heading home by car, or walking, with the things we wanted. Maybe thats better than getting 12 boxes per day, each carrying one bottle of reimagined shower gel, or frozen dog food in a vast box of ice, or some purpose driven toothpaste, made by people with no idea how to make toothpaste but a great friend in branding.
Maybe a great way to work out is in a class with other people, that you can talk to afterwards, not to pay $2000 for a bike with an iPad on it.
Maybe a good way to consume media is by paying money to a company that acts in your interest, that keeps you sane, that checks facts, that keeps you as a customer.
Maybe the best way to buy takeaway food is to walk down the street, have a nice chat with the person behind the counter and to have a nice walk home. Rather than relying on some faceless delivery app that takes a cut from both sides.
I love technology, I love changing business dynamics, but I also love it when we place faith in people and companies and sectors that know what they are doing and get rewarded for it, not for faceless tech companies with no idea what they are doing but who aim to make money by removing any sense of responsibility from the process and hope to get big enough, fast enough, for this lack of knowledge or value, to matter.