Trust is the currency and reputation is the asset

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When was the last time you got in an Uber and actually wondered who your driver was, where he was from or even what his name was for that matter?

The fact is, you don’t. You trust the brand and you trust the driver. It’s this very trust that’s unlocking collaborative consumption and disrupting industries that haven’t changed for 100s of years.

An economy of what’s mine is yours.

Things are changing fast and I’m not talking about technology here. I’m talking about a powerful and cultural economic force that is reshaping, not just what we consume but more importantly, how we consume it.

The online stranger is no longer the online stranger.

Do you really think that Airbnb, Uber or Task Rabbit created a unique piece of technology? What they managed to do was create a marketplace that captured this very trust and unlocked an efficiency that couldn’t have existed before.

“I still try and explain to my grandma that on a Saturday, after a night out with the lads, I just get in a random person’s car and they drive me home. Bless her!! She still thinks it’s called Luber!!”

The fact is these marketplaces, based on trust, can deliver a level of customisation, specialisation and localisation that’s just not people for your old school brick and mortar structure. They scale the fastest, innovate the fastest and ultimately learn the fastest. I’m not just talking about the way you are going to book your accommodation in Thailand this summer either. This is going to effect every single vertical you can possibly imagine.

Individuals became corporates and now corporates are becoming individuals again. Micro-entrepreneurs are popping up all over the place. All you need is a smartphone and you can become a business in minutes. Which in itself is developing another asset class that I like to call digital reputation.

Developing another asset class that I like to call digital reputation.

But how far do we go with tracking people’s digital reputation. If you have a reputation on Airbnb, LinkedIn, Task Rabbit or Uber should that be available for everyone to see across multiple platforms? And who owns your reputation? If someone is a SuperTasker on TaskRabbit does that mean they should be a SuperHost on Airbnb?

This new era, based around trust and leveraging off digital reputation, is taking collaborative consumption to a level of efficiency that has never been seen before.

What’s next?

Chaz Englander – CEO & CoFounder at Fat Lama