Published 07 August 2017 Category: Business, Insights,

The Disruption of Capitalism

We are entering a new phase in human history  - one in which fewer and fewer workers will be needed to produce the goods and services for the global population  -  Jeremy Rifkin

In 2014, Jeremy Rifkin introduced the concept of the ‘Zero Marginal Cost’ society which predicted the emergence of a hybrid form of capitalism that is part capitalism and part collaborative commons. The Internet of Things (IoT), open Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) and the commercialisation of digital currencies using Blockchain ledger based accounting are truly heralding a renaissance where democratisation has become a hallmark of capitalism.

Creating a Fricitonless Business
What does it take to create a friction free business?

Make no mistake, most online startups are selling one commodity: trust. Uber cannot be successful without background checks. Would any parents send their kids in a taxi with an ex-felon?

Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant financial  - Alibaba’s financial arm, while speaking to the audience during the world economic forum in Davos re-iterated that Alibaba is in the business of trust. It creates trust between the buyer and the seller.

Uber’s API that links to Google Maps API allows you to hail a cab in seconds. Banks are opening up their API’s to allow FinTech startups to access user data easily and make or receive payments almost instantly. It may not be surprising if your social media identity (Facebook) can be used to authenticate you to login to your bank account.

Every entrepreneur seeking to create a new business must remember that the product or service should be easy to understand and explain to users. This is where great UX or user design comes into play. Steve Jobs famously remarked that before the iPhone, everybody had cellphones but not one person liked their cellphones. So far, industrial design at Apple now led by Jony Ives is responsible for creating beautiful art pieces in the form of iPhones

Data is the new gold. Digital in nature, this new gold needs to be stored securely away from prying hackers. Lack of online security spells doom for a business today.

Zero Downtime
As mentioned before, digital currencies are traded 24/7 while most stock markets have defined trading hours. Also, digital currencies are fungible into various foreign currencies. This truly changes the nature of arbitrage. The near frictionless zero marginal cost, zero downtime society has allowed entrepreneurship to blossom.

In conclusion, digital is only as good as its human rendition and business is only as good as serving societal ambitions.