the author introduction: Raj Kapoor is Fitmob community type non-mainstream fitness company co-founder and chief executive officer, Mayfield risk investment company (Mayfield Fund), a former managing director and co-founder before crack fish (Snapfish). This article was originally published in TechCrunch, tells the story of a Shared economic startup founder first-hand experience. Typical representative of Shared economy such as carpooling has rise at home, for the upcoming new trend, put forward four Suggestions in below very instructive and constructive.
now sharing economy has become a popular trend, from technology to building the vehicle of sharing, sharing the economy has changed quite a lot of industry. The development of science and technology reduces the startup, amateur and professional two concepts are also beginning to blur.
just peer-to-peer (P2P) network, consumers in the rental market value reached $26 billion, private investors to notice an recently valued at $10 billion, while other like mutual car rental Lyft, second-hand clothing trading platform Poshmark non-mainstream fitness company, community type and a taxi service companies such as Uber after a recent financing, also because of the fast speed of the development of new business model, and attracted the attention of all people. Them for cheap and fine service, unprecedented convenience attracted a large number of consumers.
but the working mode and not in any industry are common, according to my many years of experience in investment and operation of this kind of company, I summarized the Shared economic model company in the success of some necessary factors:
avoid meet the requirements of “not ache not to itch”
sharing economy mainly should have the strong demand of the consumers. As the saying goes: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix”, consumers are generally satisfied with the status quo, if there is no high enough pain points, they are not willing to try new ways. For the best example, self-service car wash service Cherry. Cherry is a key for private owners to provide self-service car wash service company, owners can stay in any position, just check in parking position by mobile phone and send a car wash, car wash near Cherry will send personnel to the designated place for owners wash the car. This is not a bad idea, but only online a year later, on December 25, 2012, Cherry, announced the closure of the service. 5 times more than common car wash service price, simply wipe glass and car body surface, and can’t clean vehicle interior. In addition to convenient point, this way of washing the car did not have any other places attract consumers strong consumption desire. Washing is not often the case, the consumer is not welcome, of course. Sharing economy to be successful, must first in the customer’s daily needs, the demand of the high frequency on laid hands on him, at least most of the customers have to have a few times a week, and strong demand.
in a lift and fitness, the customer’s demand is much more strongly. Before the Uber and Lyft appeared, many big cities taking a taxi is a nightmare, the customers demand for taxi extremely intense, but traditional call car is difficult to say, the service is bad, want to charge? NO way! Want to experience a pleasant on? The character! It’s totally annoyed revealed! Therefore, Uber and Lyft arises at the historic moment, users only need to open the application, you can search available near the vehicle, it is ok to pay using a credit card, passengers and drivers can evaluate each other, the driver will be very friendly.
we’ll look at fitness industry, we are in the gym to spend $75 billion every year, but 60% of the people, I’m afraid to psychological comfort, just don’t go fitness, the national obesity is a very good evidence of sustained growth. Fitmob is trying to solve this problem, compared with the traditional way of fitness, it lets you see interest in directly. If expensive membership card also can’t motivate your fitness, then try Fitmob, here you the class, the more you pay the less money.
offline experience is the core, and it is a hard work
although a design perfect application is great for sharing economic market propaganda, but offline service experience is more important, and very difficult to control, can call to service than starting point button easy feeling, customers more concerned about is the service experience.
Shared economic model has existed on the quality and safety risk, because the supplier is not a brand is not professional. Therefore, elaborate offline service experience to please the customer is very important, we need to give customers a sense of security, online service cannot have head, especially in the beginning, when the word of mouth is very important.
before set up the brand of a service, every supplier need to be strict selection, closely monitored. Share market economy the most attractive place is its open the door to all the people, to accept all the people who want to venture, it let the market to make gold rush, truly appropriate service. But this led to a vicious circle – the customer can’t be consistent service experience, and through the score, the negative word of mouth spread like a virus, to supplier, so the business is difficult to support, so the more perfect service.
Lyft for offline service quality has the close attention, but when Lyft to evaluate driver, Lyft will also ask yourself, I will hire them to work in the top class hotel front desk? In fact support sharing economy is not technology but the connections between people, is Shared.
can’t and policy “play”, you will die
now sharing economy is one of the biggest challenges facing regulatory law, either it dragging behind, or simply don’t allow these new services. Our current regulatory framework for large enterprise is a professional, but when consumers use spare time management of the small “company” has not been completely on the eyes. A bigger challenge is that these laws are not at the national level, but the state level, the other, started his company, which makes more expensive and time-consuming.
if you ignore these rules, the company is almost unable to survive. May initially have no problem (than expect regulations revision, you not equal to spend bit of idea on consumers, can expand their own influence more so), but in the end they must and the government and regulators to create enterprises, consumers and regulators and win-win situation.
law need to be continuously updated to catch up with the pace of the development of science and technology, like California for taxi application, it is the first created new regulatory framework for sharing economic state. These small companies have a responsibility to engage actively with the city government officials, to reduce the business risk. Reality is accelerating to lobby the government, promote housing system reform in San Francisco, trying to make short-term rental housing patterns become legal.
Fitmob challenges is how to use the park to provide residents with workout, when park system design, there is no thought of outdoor fitness was so popular, so that the design of the lack of balance in park under threat. When we use the park, occasionally heard residents’ complaints, we contacted the San Francisco bureau of parks and recreation, and they signed an agreement, contract work together. Through such cooperation, we can suggest predictability in prior to the construction of the park, and put forward the solution, it is good for both of us.
consumers save money for sharing, but companies must burn
a common misconception is that sharing economy only need very little money, only need to design and code is enough, in fact this is not the case. Reality, Lyft and Uber raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Just launched Fitmob has raised more than $9 million in equity and debt financing risk. Why is that?
first of all, its key lies in whether to have the best early in the “support”. Most of the time, the platform should subsidise the best suppliers, let them give up their current other opportunities and solve the “chicken or the egg” problem. Lyft, Uber and Fitmob also can timely, to the suppliers to provide a “platform”, even though they know the consumer demand is unpredictable.
second, these very localized seeds need to be very targeted to promote the development of the market. Once you nail business in a market, have moved to a new city, like to start from scratch to create a new company.
again, just like any other startup, they are suffering from the war of competition for talent, but these enterprises need not only technology, there is a wider range of professional knowledge, they need the local sales, logistics, marketing experts and supervision and management. To develop an application is one of the simple, to provide consistent high quality service, and to ensure that each region’s service to force, is the difficult of the difficult.
although there are some companies in the fast lane of sharing economy to the international successful enterprises rapidly, but many entrepreneurs are still trying to explore what types of businesses in this mode can run successfully, what cannot do. But one thing is certain – sharing the future of the economy will be exciting.