Everyone is familiar with the concept of on-demand mobile services (ODMS). From the comfort of our home, office or just about anywhere we are able to magically command someone in the service industry to help us. It seems like each day we hear of a new ODMS popping up – Doctors, Groceries, Cleaners, Drivers, Chefs, just about anything you can name has an on-demand option. Some even take it a step further an offer the service online and on-demand, but those won't even be included here.
These services have been blowing up around the world. The “uber for x” model works. Rarely are these services innovating an industry, but rather disrupting the way we find and hire people.
Uber’s battles with taxi drivers is just the tip of the iceberg on the impact small businesses face. For generations local businesses have created jobs for hundreds of millions of people worldwide. The taxi industry has benefited from strong regulations that support their existence – no doubt business is hurting in a number of other industries as well. Or is it?
On-demand mobile services are the modern equivalent of the assembly line.
Technology has completely changed our expectations – when we want something we want it NOW.
Tony Lee of Altos Ventures recently published a post to this extent on TechCrunch. Effectively he said if we can get someone else to do it for me, why do it myself. Not a very tough sell to anyone who is facing a problem and needs an immediate solution. ODMS is a perfect mix of laziness and productivity.
Just about every single ODMS provides the same value prop to the user.
Speed - Immediate response and gratification.
Value - Pricing is usually significantly less expensive.
Quality – Providers have a track record that follows them, if they dip below a certain level often they are booted off the service.
Security – Providers are screened and there is always a paper trail for each transaction.
Convenience – Users don’t need to leave their location to get help.
On-demand is about efficiency - on both sides of the marketplace.
The reasons to go on-demand for a user are clear, but the benefits may be even more profound for the provider. This is the real reason why local businesses are in trouble.
Every on-demand service creates thousands (millions?) of entrepreneurs. At one point or another every person has contemplated being their own boss – ODMS makes that a reality. The providers can choose when they want to work, benefit from better margins, integrated payment services, and often access to more business than they would usually.
The reality is ODMS make services more accessible and create jobs, stimulate the economy, improve sustainability & green initiatives and improve productivity.
Technology will continue to evolve, and these ODMS will mature with the times constantly improving their offering, using economies of scale to pass savings along to both users and providers.