1/ new essay: What's next for marketplace startups? Reinventing the $10 trillion service economy, that's what. Co-authored with @ljin18 https://t.co/fgKbrHTnH5. A short thread 👇

2/ Marketplace startups have done incredibly well over the first few decades of the internet, reinventing the way we shop for goods, but have been less successful services. It's bc services are complex, subjective, fragmented, and often in real life. Makes it hard
3/ There's been 4 major eras at making the service economy work online. The Listings Era, the unbundled Craiglist era, the Uber for X era, and the Managed Marketplace era
4/ Each era has added more value than the last, and utilized technology innovations, from internet to social / "read/write web" to mobile. The "Unbundling Craigslist" era was particularly epic at generating startup ideas
5/ The problem is, all the low-hanging fruit has been picked off. The techniques that got us to here won't get us to the next phase. So we have to do some pretty different things. That's why "Managed Marketplaces" have been a big deal - hire folks as W-2s, certify quality, etc.
6/ All the learnings from the previous generation of marketplaces will be needed - and more! - to unlock the next phase. Which will be focused on regulated, licensed professions. This is everything from teaching, legal work, healthcare, and more. This represents trillions (!!).
7/ Here's a view of what all of these sectors might look like.
8/ Licensing *really* made sense information asymmetries existed all over the place, between consumers and providers. The taxi medallion meant something. But in a world of real-time info, GPS, user reviews, and mapping - don't we trust their rating more than their medallion?
9/ Feel free to argue about the value of licensing. It's not zero. But it holds back a lot of labor supply and makes the services expensive. Here's a view on the % of workers that require certification/licensing, in a world where it's certainly less useful and maybe just obsolete
10/ If you agree with the premise that you can unlock supply in these markets, then there are 5 key strategies to make this happen: A) Making discovery of licensed providers easier B) Hiring and managing existing providers to maintain quality
11/ Also should include: C) Expanding or augmenting the licensed supply pool. D) Utilizing unlicensed supply. E) Automation and AI. Each one deserves a deep-dive.
12/ There are 125 million Americans who work in the service industry. And we're all consumers of this market. This is a big, big opportunity, and we're excited to be digging in.
13/ Here's the essay so you can read it: https://t.co/fgKbrHTnH5. And shoutout to my co-author @ljin18 who drove most of the writing on this one!

More from Startups

1/ Tuesday was my last day as CEO of @CircleUp. I’ve been CEO since starting the co. in 2011 with my co-founder @roryeakin.

This is a thread about what happened, why and my emotions about it. For more detail:


Much of this I have never talked about.

2/ My goals: I hope it helps founders feel less lonely than I did. Little public content about the challenges of transitioning exists, but I longed for it. I’m not here to provide a playbook- just to share my experience. Hope it might build greater empathy.

Here goes….

3/ Why: When I tell people that I’m transitioning to an Exec Chairman role their first question is always: “why?” Short answer: co. pivot + fertility issues + health issues + a false sense that grit was always the answer = burnout. Long answer: is longer so hang in there with me

4/ Over a 12-18 month period that ended in late 2017 I ran my tank far beyond empty for far too long. You know that sound your car makes when it’s sputtering for more gas? It was like that. Worst year of my life. Since then it has felt like bone on bone.

5/ Here is what happened:

Professionally: pivoting a Series C company was a living hell in and of itself, as I’ve talked about before.
I shipped all these apps in 2020. Most of them generated $0.

🎬 https://t.co/JAhXqsuu6h $0
🌍 https://t.co/BrNUAhfiIT $0
💡 https://t.co/ZWcLfOH4aI $0
🐞 https://t.co/aghOxYEcPI $1.99
👍 https://t.co/2JhJLe27pW $3,025 in 10 days.

But that's ok, just keep shipping! My stories👇

https://t.co/wuiBp1XsYD is the first thing I created. It's a community for indie makers. The different thing is we post updates in videos. I created it for fun as I think the world doesn't need one more text-based forum, so I make a video one. No monetization plan so far.

🌍 https://t.co/fiwjgCWho5 is a social app. The idea is from Linktree, an app to share your social links. I thought it would be cool to add more visuals to it, and meanwhile we can explore others around. I also have no monetization plan for it. Make it for fun too.

💡 https://t.co/fZfL45uvVX is a platform to connect influencers with their fans. People says it's like @superpeer. But the only difference is it's all sync. Influencers don't need to commit their time to fixed slot. Fans pay to ask questions, influencers can answer at anytime.

Continuing Influenswer... I think the product has its potential. But for now maybe I didn't find the right niche to serve. Will re-evaluate it in future.

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