Above image: Social Business Replicated by Collaborative Economy, Ver 1.1If you’re a social business professional, you’re in a prime spot to advance your career to the next phase: the Collaborative Economy.
For over ten years, I was a social business professional. I helped Hitachi launch their program as a full time employee in 2005, started this Web Strategy blog, joined Forrester Research, and became a founding partner at Altimeter Group. I saw the genesis, evolution, maturity, and integration of an entire market in less than a decade.
Today, another decade later, I’m witnessing the birth, growth, and emergence of the next phase of social connection: the Collaborative Economy. In social media, people created media and shared it on social networks. In this next phase, people are creating physical goods in the maker movement and by crowdfunding, and sharing them in revolutionary movement that we call the Collaborative Economy.
In the preceding graphic, you’ll see that many of the Social Business software players that I’ve researched are now replicating in the Collaborative Economy space, from profiles, data, APIs, apps, analytics players, corporate platforms, and more. I’ll be sharing this graphic and other data at my keynote at LeWeb in a week where I’ll be forecasting 2015 the Year of the Crowd.
Social Business was a fast-moving industry that’s starting to integrate into corporations. If you saw how that industry birthed and grew, and were a leader or practitioner, you’re ahead of the pack and can grow your career in this next phase, the Collaborative Economy.
If you’re a Social Business professional, here are a few resources to get you caught up to speed:
The Collaborative Economy continues to mainstream –with at least two of the key players launching APIs; this spells significant ecosystem change that will impact commerce, this post will attempt to answer what it means to the greater ecosystem.
[This is as significant as Facebook launching their API and Platform.
This will spur thousands of apps, APIs and new businesses models]
News: Uber has launched an API, with key launch partners, including traditional companies like Hyatt (Disclosure: Hyatt is a Crowd Companies member). Hailo also announced an API a few hours after
- Emerging startups will gravitate toward Uber: This also means that Collaborative Economy Startups that circle Uber’s orbit (there are over 9,000) are more likely to adopt Uber’s API as a way to quickly launch their service on the Uber Network. This fosters more gravitas regarding Uber, creating more pressure on Airbnb and Lyft to quickly follow suit.
- Established startups, like Airbnb and Lyft, pressured to launch own API: Expect Lyft and, potentially, Airbnb to signal their API platforms, in this winner-take-all scenario. Several years ago, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Open ID, Plaxo, BestBuy and a few other varieties launched their own APIs, but in the end, Facebook won the war and, therefore, our interest. Airbnb has an entire ecosystem of startups built around them, but must launch an API to keep them connected.
- Large Companies get in on the game, revealing mainstream integration. Several large corporations were part of the initial Uber API launch, including TripAdvisor, Hyatt, Starbucks and United Airlines, which signals that crowd-based, on-demand models can enhance local commerce. Uber’s new partners (Hyatt and United) mean that you get seamless travel without waiting in any taxi queues. This deal enhances their overall customer experience by extending to end-to-end travel and logistics, making it easier to do business with these big brands.
- Agency and consulting teams should evaluate on-demand business models for clients. Interactive agencies, digital agencies and consulting firms involved in online commerce should sign up for the Uber and Hailo API consideration form to evaluate tying their own clients into these new delivery models.
- Social Media Management Systems will seek to integrate. Over the last several years, I’ve closely covered the enterprise social media software players and witnessed the emergence of software companies that connect FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks to enterprise systems, CRM, and corporate websites. It’s – happening – again.
- Incumbent transportation and logistics companies displaced, again. While it’s obvious to most that this continues to threaten existing taxi companies, travel booking and courier systems, as Uber partners with other businesses that require logistics and transportation, the bigger threat is to traditional commerce.
- The biggest threat is to companies like Amazon. In the end, this is a significant threat to Amazon, as Uber can quickly partner with local retailers for push-button delivery, including harnessing the power of their largest investors to tie to Waze, Wallet, Google Delivery and more. Instead of three-day delivery, Uber + local retailers = instant delivery at the local level.
[Any startup, retailer, hotelier or restaurant can now integrate mobile savvy, affluent, Uber customers on their apps and websites.]
Potential Comparison: Facebook to Uber API
This comparison isn’t apples to oranges, but helps to bridge how we think of dominant Facebook connect with potential Uber API features. To be really clear, these Uber API features don’t yet exist, but are possibilities that could be launched in the future. This matrix was added about 24 hours after this initial post.
|Social Networking API
||Collaborative Economy API (again, some of these don’t exist today, but could in the future)
|FB Connect: Register new users in a few clicks. Access to over a billion users.
||Uber Connect: Instantly get Uber’s many customers on your physical doorstep.
|Graph Search: Find things my friends like.
||Uber Ride Search: Find locations my friends like to frequent.
|Find Friends: Isolate content that only my Facebook friends like.
||Vett Uber Customers: Isolate only five-star riders (the best customers).
|Facebook Commerce: Buy credits, gifts and more.
||Uber Commerce: Any website can now use Uber’s credit card system.
|NewsFeed: Share on Facebook my experiences from other website interactions.
||Social network connections: Share my Uber experience on on any social network.
The big takeaways: Quickly get customers to and from your doorstep, period. Uber and potentially Hailo’s API means that local commerce can now benefit from instant ecommerce –and extend end to end customer experience from transportation, hospitality, commerce and more transportation for customers. Any company that wants more customers in their physical location, or wants a delivery service, should evaluate this API for business model extension.
Update: Additional discussion is happening on my newsfeed, with the business community.
I’m sitting in the Mashery room here at SXSW, a circus themed ‘tent’ with popcorn and geeks galore, I’ll be posting live coverage of things that I see and hear that I think are interesting that matter to corporate web strategists.
A few years ago, I made a claim that corporate websites will be irrelevant. Why? the community –and trust– has shifted off the corporate domain. Similar to my coverage of the Guardian launchings an API, this API is powered by Mashery.
Best Buy launched an API called Remix, that went public yesterday here at SXSW. What is it? It’s the entire product catalog now available to third party developer who can remash the content and create their own version of BestBuy or something that the world has never been seen. I can think of some unique opportunities mixing product recommendations with your Facebook friends. Or pushing this data into GetSatisfaction, an outsourced support site, and allowing products to be better supported by the community.
[Best Buy extends their corporate website by allowing third party developers to build, remix, and innovate with their data.
What’s in it for the developers? First of all, it’s a large mass of content and data that can populate a site –this is great for attracting users, and for SEO. It’s free to use, although there’s an affiliate option where Bestbuy can be one of the options for retail. Best Buy doesn’t force developers to be part of this affiliate program if they choose to go the eCommerce route, instead they give developers the choice –as many developers will choose multiple retail options.
[The Best Buy website is now colonizing to the open web --it's no longer the sole destination]
This isn’t a golden arrow for BestBuy as they still need to serve up a competitive price, and other services in the data to win over consumers. How did they convince executives? They made the argument that they’ve been releasing a catalog of data since 2000, and developers were already scraping the price –now they make it easier and faster. In order to spur innovation, they’re doing a ‘challenge’ campaign that encourages the community to do problem solving around their products. A popular example would be for the community to design a home theater system, building a digital camera kit with all the accessories, or even suggesting supplemental products for laptops –solution sell.
Considerations: What is the most popular content on your corporate site? Let it go, set it free, and let it bloom.
Update: Remix has a sample gallery, where you can see a few deployments, take camelbuys for example