You know the familiar tale of so many successful startups: Uber, Booking.com, Amazon, Upwork and so on. We, as web and mobile app developers, who have created more than 300 application, and implemented about 150 successful software projects across industries, have analyzed all of them and many of the most valuable business cases from our competitors. And we came to the conclusion that applications like Uber were not accidents, but a serious trend that has been building for a long time and will continue to be relevant in the future as well.
What do an on-site taxi ordering service, internet bookstore and a hotel reservation website have in common, and what has made each one of them a success?
Remove the Middleman
Let’s take a look at the typical business model.
Creator – mediator – client
The most important step each of the companies on our list has taken: removing the middle man.
Creator – mediator – client
Do you remember tour agencies? Have you used one lately? For the great majority, websites and services like Booking.com and others have been filling that role for years. Lament the death of the corner bookstore? We all do, but free 3-day shipping from Amazon has turned many book lovers around. And have you ever tried to rent a cottage abroad with the local French agent on an international call? If so, that nightmare has been vanquished by a few clicks on AirBnB.
Booking.com removed the tour agencies; Uber, taxi dispatchers; Amazon, bookstores; AirBnB, rental agencies; and so on. The path to success then amounts to eliminating the intermediary who has served as a communicator between the producer and consumer and replacing it with a web or mobile application.
We Are the Champions, My Friend
Ebay has shaken the international retail industry, creating an online marketplace available to customers in all countries. Kayak and Expedia have done the same for purchasers of airline tickets.
Think how convoluted the music industry was before, and how many cooks were in that kitchen, spoiling the broth. iTunes has revolutionized the industry by not only providing a downloading service for music compositions, but even removed the need for bulky disc collections and the misplaced CDs we all know are somewhere around the flat. The removal of middlemen here has brought the artists and their fans that much closer together, which few people (other than music agents) can argue against.
There is a great number of untapped fields in which you have but to apply this approach to become a “champion” and win the grand prize.
How to Recognise a Successful Niche
While the origins of these companies may seem varied, they share several commonalities:
- A conservative industry
- Powerful lobbying force for intermediaries
- Small players are artificially blocked from the market by cartel practices (non-transparent licensing and certification process, high entrance fees, etc.)
Most importantly, this model is profitable only to the intermediaries, not the creator or end customer.
What Is to Be Done?
The industries in which middlemen are taking the lion’s share are plentiful:
- Marine and Rail Transportation: Owners of containers and vessels are forced to work through brokers to complete their orders, and receivers must pay those same mediators and wait for the sending of cargo.
- Banking: Banking will be alive in ten years, but whether the banks will be is a big question. This industry is certainly under great pressure now, so changes are inevitable. Read some forecasts for the future of internet banking here.
- Couriers and Mail Delivery Services: Delivery can be much cheaper for the sender and receiver by capitalising on sharing with passing transportation. Beyond that, the “uber” approach offers an opportunity for shippers and carriers to unite over a simple application and maximise their efficiency.
- Trade: More and more buyers are moving to internet retail, and just as new technologies, such as augmented reality, are bound to be implemented in demonstrations of goods, the next level of internet trade will create a big shakeup of the B2C market.
We believe, that you, as an expert in your business, already know where to go, and we, as professional developers, are ready to share our expertise and help.
All successful applications were the result of mutual cooperation between experts from the business and professional developers. The consolidation of deep app development knowledge with understanding nuances of business niche drives these projects to the top.
Remember, whoever is first is the one who gets the spoils.