This is definitely an interesting article on the emerging “disruption economy”. I am particularly intrigued by the concept of businesses such as airbnb and Uber being “regulatory hacks”. This smacks of on interesting PhD thesis for an economics grad student!
Originally posted on Gigaom:
By now, we’ve gotten pretty used to the disruption that the rise of the social web has created in the media industry, where it has upended traditional business models and allowed creators of content to connect directly with their audience. But that same wave of socially-driven disruption is now moving through the rest of the economy too — particularly in services that can be easily socialized, such as the hotel business, the taxi industry or the education market. As that wave progresses, we’re seeing companies like Airbnb and Uber and Coursera run into more and more regulatory hurdles, but the writing is already on the wall: service businesses that don’t use social features to lower barriers and increase efficiency will likely not survive long.
Coursera, which offers online-education courses, was recently hit with a regulatory freeze in Minnesota, because the rules for education-related businesses in that state require that they jump through a series of hoops, including filing for registration (and paying fees). The state later modified its views on the service after an uproar about these restrictions, but it is unlikely to be the only roadblock the company runs into as it tries to expand. The reality is that in any number of markets, from education to the hotel industry to broadcasting, regulations haven’t kept up with the evolution of the businesses they are supposed to be regulating.