Four operating principles of the new sharing economy
“Two out of three ain’t bad.” That’s what we have always been told. But if my experience with new economy companies is any indication, that’s old school thinking. Companies like Airbnb, Uber, WeWork and Task Rabbit are better, faster and cheaper. Here are four operating principles that drive this triple threat business model.
1. Investing in Customers-WeWork: Extrovertic recently shed our 5,000 square foot space and moved into WeWork Soho West. WeWork continually invests in its customer success by publicizing member businesses, teaching critical entrepreneurial skills and negotiating reduced rates for fundamental services.
For extrovertic, this community opens up a wealth of talent pool from the emerging health technology and communication companies. For example, there are 19 video producers in our location alone. And I bet they do it better-faster-cheaper than traditional sources.
2. Continual Improvement-Task Rabbit: I hired a Task Rabbit in February to replicate my grandmother’s recipe box for my two cousins. As someone who was asked by her mother not to show her younger sister how to cut and paste, I knew the job was beyond my skillset.
The Task Rabbit procurement process was a little involved, but worth it. Fast forward a couple of months, Task Rabbit has completely changed their business model based on the extensive data they have collected on their Task Rabbits and clients. Task Rabbit simplified both the pricing and hiring process. Lesson: for businesses wanting to offer better-cheaper-faster, there is no set-it-and-forget-it mode.
3. Mutual accountability-Airbnb: A key factor in Airbnb’s success is because it is designed to provide excellent experiences for both the host and guest. And as countless business studies will tell you, happy employees result in happy customers.
At Airbnb, the hosts and guests rate each other so responsible behavior is reinforced on both sides. If a guest complains or mentions an issue, hosts are empowered to tell their side of the story, apologize or in some instances refute the claim. Moral of the story, if you want better employees, give them a voice.
4. Mobile from Day One–Uber: One of the best things about Uber is its mobile interface. It is so easy to order and pay for a car. Even my 88-year old mother ubers everywhere. Design experts will tell you that you get a different result if the design process moves mobile to desktop. It is easier to improve and enlarge than edit and shrink (a progressive enhancement versus graceful degradation issue of sorts). And one-third of mobile web users indicate that they go online mostly using their phones. Lesson: mobile has to be the starting point.
Using companies like Uber, Airbnb, WeWorks and Task Rabbit saves money. Extrovertic is a big Uber fan. However, the larger lesson is to alter your business model to provide the triple threat benefits: better-faster-cheaper. The more customers experience to better-faster-cheaper from the Ubers of the world, the more they will expect it from all businesses. And healthcare will be no exception.
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