A Word About Uber and Services

Most people equate ecommerce with selling physical things, warehouses and the sort but today ‘services’ are hot. Think about the number of companies in the space that are generating huge profits without selling a physical good; Google, Facebook, eBay, Oracle, Microsoft and more. This is usually defined as ‘software’ but it’s actually more than that.

What I mean is it’s more than software that makes services valuable both in terms of the free cash flow they generate and the huge valuations. For example, I came across a piece about Uber in the FT and the company’s plans to launch in Indonesia:

“Uber is a technology company,” the group said at the time. “We do not own, operate vehicles or employ drivers.”

This, the Airbnb style ‘sharing economy’ or whatever you want to call is perhaps the most innovative and potentially world changing thing in business today. This is the use of technology to harness physical assets – in Uber’s case cities, cars and people – to derive new value.

Think about this if you’re thinking about an ecommerce venture; how can you use the power of the Internet to use real world things?Technology is about getting more from less; how can you use the Internet to get more? What has nobody thought about yet?

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