Did you know…


… that today is Shakespeare’s Wedding Day? In 1582, William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. Author of “Romeo and Juliet” and many love sonnets, Shakespeare is now considered one of history’s great romantics.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Life is not about how fast you run or how high you climb, but how well you bounce.”

— Vivian Komori

Great forward


From a friend on WhatsApp

A TV anchor once asked Martina Navratilova, “How do you maintain your focus and manage to keep playing, even at the age of 43? ”


Her suave response was, “The ball doesn’t know how old I am.  


In his excellent book, Stillpower, Sports Psychologist Garret Kramer says that a key factor to performing well in sports (and in life), is your ability to control the quality and quantity of your “internal dialogue”.


Performance = Potential – internal interference


In other words, you need to stop yourself from stopping yourself. 


Sports, fitness, business and indeed Life are played on a 6-inch ground … the space between our own two ears!

Preparing For The Extraordinary: An Essential Practice, by Alan Briskin


Preparing For The Extraordinary: An Essential Practice

–by Alan Briskin (Nov 26, 2018)

Preparing for the extraordinary is one of the […] essential practices of collective wisdom.  It requires clear intention and mindful preparation for achieving a greater felt sense of connection with others and spiritual forces.

Illustrating this idea with a story may be useful.  The great sage, Reb Zalman Schachter Shalomi, told me once of an experience he had with his friend and colleague, Howard Thurman […] a distinguished African American philosopher, theologian and mentor to Martin Luther King.

On this occasion, Reb Zalman had invited Thurman to Manitoba, Canada where Reb Zalman was living.  Together, they went to the local Christian abbey where Thurman met with the novice master.  Thurman asked him to tell him the most common complaint he heard from his students.  The novice master said it was that they had to awaken for 3 a.m. prayers, requiring them to get out of bed and enter the cold chapel.  “Why do this,” they said when they already experienced great satisfaction with the 9 a.m. service?

In response, the novice master forbade them from coming to the 3 a.m. services.  Two weeks later, they complained that they no longer felt the joy and sense of mystery that they had felt previously during the 9 a.m. gathering.  The students were invited back to the 3 a.m. services with a new respect for how the preparation that occurs in the pre-dawn of attentiveness can influence what happens during the light of day.  Thurman, Reb Zalman recalled with a laugh, was delighted with this tale.

Preparing for the extraordinary is that effort we make, the rituals we create, the inner psychological work we do, that sharpens our intention and paves the way for something wonderful to happen.  Sometimes it is in rigorous conceptual preparation, other times in silent prayer.  Sometimes it is in learning to tolerate discomfort, other times in preparing oneself for bold action.

However it is accomplished, it is rarely due to an individual alone, but to a larger social field in which individuals collaborate together, perform their role, contribute their unique talents, and feel seen and heard by others.  A central principle of collective wisdom is that we each participate in creating the experience of the group and that the group has distinctive qualities that impact the individual.  We are co-creators of the group experience, composers of the group field and part of the composition.

by Alan Briskin, co-author The Power of Collective Wisdom.
Listen | print |  271K  118K | 2605 reads
Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of needing preparation for the extraordinary to be received in our life? Can you share a personal story of a time when you realized how you were co-creating the group experience while also being impacted by it? What helps you remain aware that you are both a composer of the group field and part of the composition?

via Preparing For The Extraordinary: An Essential Practice, by Alan Briskin

For My Swan-neck Viola A Love Poem by jay


For My Swan-neck Viola

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Your kitten is lovely,
And so are you.

Orchids are white,
Ghost ones are rare,
Marbles are shiny,
And so is your hair.

Magnolia grows,
With buds like eggs,
Pink is pale,
And so are your legs.

Sunflowers reach,
Up to the skies,
My sun is dazzling,
And so are your eyes.

Foxgloves in hedges,
Surround the farms,
The history is long,
And so are your arms.

Daisies are pretty,
Daffies have style,
Moonlight is illuminating,
And so is your smile.

Viola is beautiful,
Just like you.

Ode to Performer – Jay’s Sonnet


Ode to the Performer

Ode to the Performer

A Sonnet by jay

My Performer, you inspire me to write.
How I hate the way you bounce, snort and sneer,
Invading my mind day and through the night,
Always dreaming about the crazed emir.

Let me compare you to a nonmember?
You are more dainty, funny and funny.
Odd fogs hide the oceans of November,
And autumntime has the dazed hearth money.

How do I hate you? Let me count the ways.
I hate your eyelashes and attitude.
Thinking of your raised humour fills my days.
My hate for you is the horrible nude.

Now I must away with a deadpan heart,
Remember my broad words whilst we’re apart.

Whatdya’ think? :)


A purple pig

and a green donkey

flew a kite i

in the middle of the night

and ended up sunburnt.

I was counting my calories,

I really wanted dessert.

I currently have 51windows open up…

and I don’t know why silos are filled up.

Jay made the sugar cookies;

Jaya decorated them.

Yeah, I think it’s a good environment

for learning English.

Skyline Newsletter


Corporate Culture
When Cultural Values Lead to Groupthink, the Company LosesThe business of a corporation is no longer just business. In the past, many companies avoided staking out a public position on political and social issues. But that’s less feasible now. Public and private enterprises are increasingly called upon to take a stand on behalf of their employees and their communities. In some cases, this means establishing a company point of view on controversial issues such as same-sex marriage, immigration, race relations, and environmental policies. Even operational decisions, such as structuring parental leave, choosing which holidays to observe, or deciding where to locate a manufacturing hub, carry implicit support for particular values — for example, a company may choose to avoid doing business in countries that do not support freedom of expression…...Read More
Strategy
How Does Amazon Do It? Five Critical Factors That Explain Amazon’s Incredible Success

With Amazon edging towards becoming the world’s first trillion-dollar company, fresh attention is being paid to the factors that could derail its growth. The company slowed a bit this quarter, sending the stock down eleven percent. Nevertheless, this downtick should not distract from the reality that Amazon has emerged as the new model of innovation effectiveness. They are something new in the innovation realm. They have moved so fast for so long, implemented so many new product, process and business model innovations, that their playbook is suddenly the standard by which every company must measure itself against, or get left behind. Amazon is the new model going forward.. Read More

Talent Management  
Making Kindness a Core Tenet of Your CompanyScan the newspaper headlines, or switch on cable news for a few minutes, and it’s easy to conclude that we are living through harsh, mean, divisive times. But a recent column in the Washington Post reminded me of a truth that is even easier to overlook: Just as bad behavior tends to spread, so too does good behavior. Kindness, it turns out, is contagious. The column highlighted the work of Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki, who documents what he calls “positive conformity.” In his research, “participants who believed others were more generous became more generous themselves.” This suggests that “kindness is contagious, and that it can cascade across people, taking on new forms along the .Read More
Customer Engagement
Why Meeting Customers’ Expectations Isn’t Enough

Whether you work for a start-up or a large company, there have never been so many metrics to help you understand how your business is doing. But I would argue that one metric rules them all: Net Promoter Score (NPS).NPS represents the willingness of consumers to recommend your product to someone they know. For most businesses, especially start-ups and small businesses with tiny marketing budgets, NPS is crucial. Why? Because word-of-mouth is their most important marketing channel. Word-of-mouth fundamentally comes from the willingness of customers to recommend your business, in other words, NPS. According to a survey conducted by Verizon and Small Business Trends,..Read More

Marketing
Facebook Releases New Report on Customer Friction Points, and How to Resolve Them

As digital platforms work to provide more immediate on-platform shopping options, minimizing the steps required to make a purchase, consumer expectations are also rising. Now, many shoppers will simply click away from purchasing processes which force them into extra effort – in fact, according to Facebook, 80% of consumers say that the experience a business provides is just as crucial as its goods or services. That’s a key stat to keep in mind, and the focus of a new report from Facebook which looks at customer friction points along the path to purchase. For the report, Facebook collaborated with Boston Consulting Group to analyze friction points, and their associated costs, across industries in the Asia Pacific region...Read More

Creativity
What It Takes to Shift From Competing to Creating

In their just released book, BLUE OCEAN SHIFT, Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, creators of Blue Ocean Strategy, deliver the definitive guide to shifting yourself, your team and your organisation to new heights of confidence, market creation and growth. They show why nondisruptive creation is as important as disruption in seizing new growth, what leads to one over the other and why you’d be unwise not to understand this. INSEAD Knowledge (IK): Chan and Renée, congratulations on your new book, Blue Ocean Shift, being released today. It’s already been labeled a next ‘blockbuster’ and chosen by Apple iBooks as the best business book of the month. In a nutshell, what’s it all about?..Read More

Corporate Culture
Can Employees Change the Ethics of Tech Firms?Many companies, it seems, are growing their conscience — or at least, their employees are. Workers are exercising greater muscle when they see their employer taking on a contract they perceive as involving morally questionable work, and they are taking action. At Google, employees recently protested their own company’s bid to develop a search engine for China that censors results based on terms blacklisted by the government. Meanwhile, workers at Microsoft have petitioned their bosses to cancel the company’s contract with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “We demand Microsoft stop enabling ICE’s mission to punish families seeking safety,” reads the petition, which also calls for all tech firms to end their work with ICE....Read More

QUOTES of the day – Jay’s choice


“If your parents never had children, chances are… neither will you.”

via Funny Quote of the Day https://ift.tt/2AdVcik

“Every painting is a voyage into a sacred harbour.”

via Art Quote of the Day https://ift.tt/2zEXzxv

“The great advantage about telling the truth is that nobody ever believes it.”

via Today’s Quote https://ift.tt/2hTZ3ZlQ’UOT

ROK Movement – Random acts of Kindness


  1. Make a conscious effort to recycle
  2. Make someone’s day – tell a friend why you appreciate them
  3. Pick up somebody else’ tab next time you go for a coffee
  4. Buy someone a coffee
  5. See someone struggling with lots of bags? Offer to help them
  6. Save water – take a shorter shower today
  7. Help someone academically – lend them your study notes
  8. Make an effort to get to know someone you don’t usually talk to
  9. We all need help sometimes; offer someone a helping hand
  10. Someone wronged you? Forgive them

Self surrender


Self-surrender implies obedience of all the orders of the Master. When all your desires and actions are guided by him, and are the result of your obeying his orders, he becomes directly responsible for them. 


Thus when self-surrender is thorough, the responsibility for your release from sanskaras is devolved upon the Master, and under this new condition the Master annihilates all your sanskaras in no time. 


Discourses vol 1, p70 ( e-book)

By Meher Baba 

Copyright AMBPPCT

Unreasonable. A wonderful newsletter


Editorial Digest
November 26, 2018
Good morning!

This week we continue to focus our attention on the global impact of deforestation. In case you’ve missed it, over the last few months we’ve worked alongside journalists from around the world to investigate the ongoing battle for our planet’s remaining wild spaces in our most ambitious series to date, Life on Land.

These stories have taken us from the montane forests of Borneo to the Amazonian lowlands as our writers covered the impacts of monolithic industries on wildlife, indigenous peoples, and global communities.

Our highlights:

On the Wild Side
This journalist rode her motorcycle across Colombia to document conservation efforts in forests left newly vulnerable by guerrilla forces in the wake of a 52-year-long civil war.

Blood, Land, and Soy
In Mato Grosso, Brazil, Amazonian tribes are fighting for their land — and their lives — against big agribusiness and soy corporates.

Ghana Beyond Aid
Ghana will exchange $10B worth of bauxite mined from the Atewa Forest Reserve for major infrastructure projects with China, and locals are taking a stand.

Solution Spotlight: Uncommon Cacao

It’s without question that we have a lot of work to do on this Big F**kin’ Problem. But at Unreasonable, we live for solutions.

Emily Stone, CEO of Uncommon Cacao and Unreasonable Fellow, weighs in on the necessity of radically transparent trade within the cacao industry in order to alleviate farmer poverty, reduce deforestation, and remove children from the labor force.

What we’re reading…

🕺  Eight tips on how to turn your side hustle into your job.

✌️  After this policy was put in place, IKEA’s employee turnover skyrocketed.

🌖  Hawaii’s Mars colony is now becoming a simulated Moon base.

🛩  Thanks to a new UN agreement, Airlines with international flights will have tooffset their CO2 emissions.

💬  Amid the civility debate, what if all the internet needs is a healthy dose of ethics?

share
tweet
forward
Copyright © 2018 Unreasonable Group, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member of the International League of Unreasonables and you subscribed to receive your dose of Unreasonable thinking from one of the Unreasonable web properties such as Unreasonable.is or UnreasonableGroup.com.

Your story Startpreneurs fav newsletter


1

Daily Capsule | 27th November

Hello 

After a bad Monday, all of us at some point, have thought of moving out of our jobs, homes, even cities. We have often joked about leaving the country and the planet too!

But, the one person who can actually do it is probably Elon Musk. The serial entrepreneur and SpaceX CEO actually said that there’s a 70 percent chance that he will move to Mars.

If you are thinking of following in his footsteps, beware though. Not only would a round trip to Mars cost you at least a “couple of hundred thousand dollars”, but Musk also says that the chances of dying on the Red Planet are much higher than on Earth.

What would you choose? An escape hatch or would you prefer living out your years here? If you could afford it, of course!

Cheers,
Team YourStory


Stories you shouldn’t miss

 

After a month of teasing the startup community, serial entrepreneur and FreeCharge founder Kunal Shah finally spoke about the story behind his latest venture CRED. On Monday, he took to social media and said, “I felt the need to create a system that rewards trustworthy and creditworthy individuals of India and inspires others to be like them.”

Indian retail payments organisation National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) issued a circular last week, suspending the eSign-based e-mandate product from November 26. In the light of this development, industry sources shed light on NPCI forming a separate committee to decide on remedial actions and address any grievances.    

Fitness device maker GOQii is all set to step into the Japanese market after raising an undisclosed amount during Series B funding led by Mitsui, a Japanese conglomerate and an active healthcare investor. The investment is expected to be fruitful for the company’s future expansion, especially in Japan whose ageing population and focus on preventive healthcare make it a lucrative market.

Four-year-old Hyderabad-based solar energy startup Freyr Energy has raised a Rs 27 crore funding in the Series A round from Netherlands-based Impact Investment Fund, C4D Partners. Just last year, it had secured seed funding from the investment company Doen-Participaties. The funds raised will not only be utilised to strengthen Freyr Energy’s technology platform SunPro but also to create an estimated 2,000 direct jobs.

SaaS customer engagement automation provider Verloop announced that it closed $3 million Series A investment, led by IDFC Parampara Fund. The startup said the funding will be used to enhance its customer engagement platform as it expands to address the global market for automated customer services and marketing.

Madhya Pradesh-based organic farming champion Lalita Mukati has taken it upon herself to promote natural farming practices among fellow farmers in her village of Borlai.Unsurprisingly, the results have been incredible – greater crop yields, lesser expenditure on fertilizer and pesticides and higher income. “I don’t have a business model because everyone has the resources to make it, and if anybody needs it, I give it to them at no cost,” she says.

Prompted by the need to stay more involved in his daughter’s academic progress, 37-year-old Chirag Palande has come up with an end-to-end, cloud-based, parent updating app called SchoolHandy. Not only does this platform offer information on your child’s academic performance, but also entails live school bus tracking, a chat platform and an information dashboard. One of the biggest advantages, however, is that SchoolHandy helps avoid any gaps in communication between the school and the parents.

We’re days away from Bengaluru Tech Summit which will take place from November 29, 2018 to December 1, 2018 at the Bengaluru Palace with the focal theme ‘Innovation and Impact’. With over 11,000 visitors and 260 speakers lined up at the venue to give insights into the latest industry trends, impactful innovations and future opportunities, the summit has a spectrum of programmes from product launches, startup zones, global hackathons and more. Check out the five most interesting ones you definitely shouldn’t miss out on.

 


.

Procter Gallagher newsletter


1Isn’t the idea that you can have a thriving business built on helping people and improving the world the ultimate dream?


It’s possible.

In case you didn’t know – the Personal Development Industry is not just about feeling good.

According to Wikipedia and Psychology Today, this is a more than $11 Billion dollar industry – and growing.

Growing at a rapid pace and with always more lives to impact – the question you should be asking yourself isn’t, ‘Can I be successful at this?’ … it’s ‘How big of a mark do I want to make?’, and ‘What am I willing to do to make it happen?”
 
There is no limit to the amount of income or the satisfaction you can gain from teaching people how to unleash their unlimited potential

The God and the Musician Rhyming Couplet Ideas by jay


The God and the Musician

See the looking of the God,
I think he’s angry at the petard.

He finds it hard to see the king,
Overshadowed by the light baseball swing.

Who is that flapping near the beach?
I think she’d like to eat the broadbeach.

She is but a quiet musician,
Admired as she sits upon a demolition.

Her mortal car is just an ace,
It needs no gas, it runs on steeplechase.

She’s not alone she brings a kitten,
a pet spider, and lots of briton.

The spider likes to chase a snail,
Especially one that’s in the voicemail.

The God shudders at the weak scorpion
He want to leave but she wants the morpion.

Jay the Poet – A Tanka


Poet - A Tanka Poem

Poet – A Tanka Poem

by jay

I love my Poet
He is friendly and superb.
He has gracious smiles
And two powerful toes too
When he sleeps I feel happy

thought-catalog-485644-unsplash.jpg

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Unreasonable. A wonderful newsletter


Editorial Digest
November 26, 2018
Good morning!

This week we continue to focus our attention on the global impact of deforestation. In case you’ve missed it, over the last few months we’ve worked alongside journalists from around the world to investigate the ongoing battle for our planet’s remaining wild spaces in our most ambitious series to date, Life on Land.

These stories have taken us from the montane forests of Borneo to the Amazonian lowlands as our writers covered the impacts of monolithic industries on wildlife, indigenous peoples, and global communities.

Our highlights:

On the Wild Side
This journalist rode her motorcycle across Colombia to document conservation efforts in forests left newly vulnerable by guerrilla forces in the wake of a 52-year-long civil war.

Blood, Land, and Soy
In Mato Grosso, Brazil, Amazonian tribes are fighting for their land — and their lives — against big agribusiness and soy corporates.

Ghana Beyond Aid
Ghana will exchange $10B worth of bauxite mined from the Atewa Forest Reserve for major infrastructure projects with China, and locals are taking a stand.

Solution Spotlight: Uncommon Cacao
It’s without question that we have a lot of work to do on this Big F**kin’ Problem. But at Unreasonable, we live for solutions.

Emily Stone, CEO of Uncommon Cacao and Unreasonable Fellow, weighs in on the necessity of radically transparent trade within the cacao industry in order to alleviate farmer poverty, reduce deforestation, and remove children from the labor force.

What we’re reading…

🕺  Eight tips on how to turn your side hustle into your job.

✌️  After this policy was put in place, IKEA’s employee turnover skyrocketed.

🌖  Hawaii’s Mars colony is now becoming a simulated Moon base.

🛩  Thanks to a new UN agreement, Airlines with international flights will have tooffset their CO2 emissions.

💬  Amid the civility debate, what if all the internet needs is a healthy dose of ethics?

share
tweet
forward
Copyright © 2018 Unreasonable Group, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member of the International League of Unreasonables and you subscribed to receive your dose of Unreasonable thinking from one of the Unreasonable web properties such as Unreasonable.is or UnreasonableGroup.com.

Did you know…


Did you know…

… that today is Sojourner Truth Day? This day commemorates the death of Sojourner Truth in 1883. Sojourner Truth, a former slave, was an advocate of abolition and women’s rights. Sojourner was born sometime in 1790.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”

— Suzanne Somers

The wonderful Startup newsletter from Andrew Chen


What’s next for marketplace startups? Reinventing the $10 trillion service economy, that’s what.

[Dear readers, this essay is on the future of marketplaces. Is there still room for marketplace startups to innovate? We answer, emphatically, yes! Am excited to share a vision on the past and future of the service economy, in a collaboration by my a16z colleague Li Jin. From “Unbundling Craiglist” to “Uber for X” – we lay it all out in a single framework. Hope you enjoy our thinking! -A]


Above: 4 eras of marketplaces focused on the service economy – and what’s next

Goods versus Services – why a breakthrough is coming
Marketplace startups have done incredibly well over the first few decades of the internet, reinventing the way we shop for goods, but have been less successful services. In this essay, we argue that a breakthrough is on its way: While the first phase of the internet has been about creating marketplaces for goods, the next phase will be about reinventing the service economy. Startups will build on the lessons and tactics to crack the toughest service industries – including regulated markets that have withstood digital transformation for decades. In doing this, the lives of 125 million Americans who work in the services-providing industries will join the digital transformation of the economy.

In the past twenty years, we’ve transformed the way people buy goods online, and in the process created Amazon, eBay, JD.com, Alibaba, and other e-commerce giants, accounting for trillions of dollars in market capitalization. The next era will do the same to the $9.7 trillion US consumer service economy, through discontinuous innovations in AI and automation, new marketplace paradigms, and overcoming regulatory capture.

In contrast, the service economy lags behind: while services make up 69% of national consumer spending, the Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that just 7% of services were primarily digital, meaning they utilized internet to conduct transactions.

We propose that a new age of service marketplaces will emerge, driven by unlocking more complex services, including services that are regulated. In this essay, we’ll talk about:

  • Why services are still primarily offline
  • The history of service marketplace paradigms
    • The Listings Era
    • The Unbundled Craigslist Era
    • The “Uber for X” Era
    • The Managed Marketplace Era
  • The future of service marketplaces
    • Regulated services
    • Five strategies for unlocking supply in regulated markets
  • Future opportunities

Let’s start by looking at where the service economy is right now and why it’s resisted a full scale transformation by software.

Get more essays on marketplaces and more by subscribing to my newsletter.

Leave this field empty if you’re human:

Software eating the service economy, but it’s been slow
We’ve all had the experience of asking friends for recommendations for a great service provider, whether it be a great childcare provider, doctor, or hair stylist. Why is that? Why aren’t we discovering and consuming these services in the same digital way we’ve come to expect for goods?

Despite the rise of services in the overall economy, there are a few reasons why services have lagged behind goods in terms of coming online:

  • Services are complex and diverse, making it challenging to capture relevant information in an online marketplace
  • Success and quality in services is subjective
  • Fragmentation – small service providers lack the tools or time to come online
  • Real-world interaction is at the heart of services delivery, which makes it hard to disaggregate parts of a purchase that might be done online

Let’s unpack each reason below:

First, on the complexity and diversity of services, services are performed by providers who vary widely, unlike goods which are manufactured to a certain spec. Even the names of services can vary: what one home cleaning service calls a “deep clean” can be different from another provider’s definition. This lack of standardization makes it difficult for a service marketplace to capture and organize the relevant information.

Second, services are often complex interactions without a clear yardstick of success or quality. The customer experience of a service is often subjective, making traditional marketplace features like reviews, recommendations, and personalization more difficult to implement. Sometimes just getting the job completed (as in rideshare) is sufficient to earn a 5-star review, whereas other higher-stakes services, like childcare, have complex customer value functions, including safety, friendliness, communicativeness, rapport with child, and other subjective measures of success.

Third, small service providers often lack the tools or time to come online. In many service industries, providers are small business owners with low margins; contrast this with goods manufacturing where there are economies of scale in production, and thus consolidation into large consumer products companies. As a result of industry fragmentation, service providers often don’t have time or budget to devote to key business functions, such as responding to customer requests, promoting and marketing themselves, maintaining a website, and other core functions. While major e-commerce platforms have taken on the role of distribution, merchandising, and fulfilling orders for goods, there are few platforms that service providers can plug into to manage their businesses and reach customers.

Fourth, real-world interaction is central to services, which can pull other steps of the services funnel into the offline world as well. Many services are produced and consumed simultaneously in real-world interactions, whereas goods entail independent stages of production, distribution, and consumption. The various stages of the goods value chain can be easily unbundled, with e-commerce marketplaces comprising the discovery, transaction, and fulfillment steps. Conversely, since the production and consumption of services usually occur simultaneously offline, the discovery, distribution, and transaction pieces are also often integrated into the offline experience. For instance, since getting a haircut entails going to a salon and having interactions with the providers there, the stages of the value chain that precede and follow that interaction (discovery, booking, and payment) also often get incorporated into the in-person experience.

All of these factors make it very hard for services to come online as comprehensively and widely as commerce – but there’s hope. We’ve seen multiple eras of bringing the service economy online, and we’re on the verge of a breakthrough!

The 4 eras of Service Marketplaces, and what’s next 
There have been 4 major generations of service marketplaces, but coverage of services and providers remains spotty, and many don’t provide end-to-end, seamless consumer experiences. Let’s zoom out and talk through each historical marketplace paradigm, and what we’ve learned so far.

Above, you can see that there have roughly been four major eras of marketplace innovation when it comes to the service economy.

1. The Listings Era (1990s)
The first iteration of bringing services online involved unmanaged horizontal marketplaces, essentially listing platforms that helped demand search for supply and vice versa. These marketplaces were the digital version of the Yellow Pages, enabling visibility into which service providers existed, but placing the onus on the user to assess providers, contact them, arrange times to meet, and transact. The dynamic here is “caveat emptor”–users assume the responsibility of vetting their counterparties and establishing trust, and there’s little in the way of platform standards, protections, or guarantees.

Craigslist’s Services category is the archetypal unmanaged service marketplace. It includes a jumble of house remodeling, painting, carpet cleaners, wedding photographers, and other services. But limited tech functionality means that it feels disorganized and hard to navigate, and there’s no way to transact or contact the provider without moving off the platform.

We’ve all had the experience of a listings-oriented product, like Craigslist. You find something you want, but everything else – trust/reviews/payments/etc – that’s all up to you!

2. The Unbundled Craigslist Era (2000s)
Companies iterated on the horizontal marketplace model by focusing on a specific sub-vertical, enabling them to offer features tailored to a specific industry. We’ve all seen the diagram of various companies picking off Craigslist verticals – it looks something like this:

As a reaction to the “Wild West” nature of Craigslist, to improve the customer experience, each startup would create value-add via software. For instance, Care.com carves off the Childcare section of Craigslist, and provides tech value-add in the form of filters, structured information, and other features to improve the customer experience of finding a local caregiver. It’s a huge leap in terms of user experience over Craigslist’s Childcare section.

Angie’s List, a home services site founded in 2005, carves off Craigslist’s household services category. The platform has features including reviews, profiles, certified providers, and an online quote submission process. But the marketplace doesn’t encompass the entire end-to-end experience: users turn to Angie’s List for discovery, but still need to message or call providers and coordinate offline.

Unmanaged vertical marketplaces like Angie’s List go a step beyond Craigslist and take on some value-add services like certifying providers when they meet certain standards, but customers still need to select and contact the service provider, place their trust in the provider rather than the platform, and transact offline.

Like previous listing sites, these platforms in this era try to use the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ to promote trust. These platforms have a network effect in that more reviews means more users and more reviews. But user reviews have their limitations, as every user has a unique value function that they’re judging a service against. Without standardized moderation or curation, and without machine learning to automate this process, customers have the onus of sifting through countless reviews and selecting among thousands of providers.

3. The “Uber for X” Era (2009-)
In the early 2010s, a wave of on-demand marketplaces for simple services arose, including transportation, food delivery, and valet parking. These marketplaces were enabled by widespread mobile adoption, making it possible to book a service or accept a job with the tap of a button.

Companies like Handy, Lugg, Lyft, Rinse, Uber and many others made it efficient to connect to service providers in real-time. They created a full-stack experience around a particular service, optimizing for liquidity in one category. For these transactions, quality and success were more or less binary–either the service was fulfilled or it wasn’t–making them conducive to an on-demand model.

These platforms took on various functions to establish an end-to-end, seamless user experience: automatically matching supply and demand, setting prices, handling transactions, and establishing trust through guarantees and protections. They also often commoditized the underlying service provider (for instance, widespread variance on the driver side of rideshare marketplaces is distilled into Uber X, Uber Pool, Uber Black, Uber XL, etc.).

Unlike the previous generations of marketplaces, in which the provider ultimately owns the end customer relationship, these on-demand marketplaces became thought of as the service provider, e.g. “I ordered food from DoorDash” or “Let’s Uber there,” rather than the underlying person or business that actually rendered the service.

Over time, many startups in this category failed, and the ones that survived did so by focusing on and nailing a frequent use case, offering compelling value propositions to demand and supply (potentially removing the on-demand component, which wasn’t valuable for some services), and putting in place incentives and structures to promote liquidity, trust, safety, and reliability.

4. The Managed Marketplace Era (Mid-2010s)
In the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in the number of full-stack or managed marketplaces, or marketplaces that take on additional operational value-add in terms of intermediating the service delivery. While “Uber for X” models were well-suited to simple services, managed marketplaces evolved to better tackle services that were more complex, higher priced, and that required greater trust.

Managed marketplaces take on additional work of actually influencing or managing the service experience, and in doing so, create a step-function improvement in the customer experience. Rather than just enabling customers to discover and build trust with the end provider, these marketplaces take on the work of actually creating trust.

In the a16z portfolio, Honor is building a managed marketplace for in-home care, and interviews and screens every care professional before they are onboarded and provides new customers with a Care Advisor to design a personalized care plan. Opendoor is a managed marketplace that creates a radically different experience for buying and selling a home. When a customer wants to sell their home, Opendoor actually buys the home, performs maintenance, markets the home, and finds the next buyer. Contrast this with the traditional experience of selling a home, where there is the hassle of repairs, listing, showings, and potentially months of uncertainty.

Managed marketplaces like Honor and Opendoor take on steps of the value chain that platforms traditionally left to customers or providers, such as vetting supply. Customers place their trust in the platform, rather than the counterparty of the transaction. To compensate for heavier operational costs, it’s common for managed marketplaces to actually dictate pricing for services and charge a higher take rate than less-managed marketplace models.

Managed marketplaces are a tactic to solve a broader problem around accessing high-quality supply, especially for services that require greater trust and/or entail high transaction value. If we zoom out further, there’s many more categories of services that can benefit from managed models and other tactics to unlock supply.

What’s next: The future of Service Marketplaces (2018-?) 
We think the next era of service marketplaces have potential to unlock a huge swath of the 125 million service jobs in the US. These marketplaces will tackle the opportunities that have eluded previous eras of service marketplaces, and will bring the most difficult services categories online–in particular, services that are regulated. Regulated services–in which suppliers are licensed by a government agency or certified by a professional or industry organization–include engineering, accounting, teaching, law, and other professions that impact many people’s lives directly to a large degree. In 2015, 26% of employed people had a certification or license.

Regulation of services was critical pre-internet, since it served to signify a certain level of skill or knowledge required to perform a job. But digital platforms mitigate the need for licensing by exposing relevant information about providers and by establishing trust through reviews, managed models, guarantees, platform requirements, and other mechanisms. For instance, most of us were taught since childhood never to get into cars with strangers; with Lyft and Uber, consumers are comfortable doing exactly that, millions of times per day, as a direct result of the trust those platforms have built.

Licensing of service professions create an important standard, but also severely constrains supply. The time and money associated with getting licensed or certified can lock out otherwise qualified suppliers (for instance, some states require a license to braid hair or to be a florist), and often translates into higher fees, long waitlists, and difficulty accessing the service. The criteria involved in getting licensed also do not always map to what consumers actually value, and can hinder the discovery and access of otherwise suitable supply.

Above: Bureau of Labor Statistics. (11/9/18)

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Five strategies to unlock regulated industries
We’re starting to see a number of startups tackling regulated services industries. As with each wave of previous service marketplaces, these new approaches bring more value-add to unlock the market, with variations in models that are well-suited to different categories.

The major approaches in unlocking supply in these regulated industries include:

  1. Making discovery of licensed providers easier
  2. Hiring and managing existing providers to maintain quality
  3. Expanding or augmenting the licensed supply pool
  4. Utilizing unlicensed supply
  5. Automation and AI

1) Making discovery of licensed providers easier 
Some startups are tackling verticals that lack good discovery of licensed providers. Examples include Houzz, which enables users to search for and contact licensed home improvement professionals, and StyleSeat, which helps users find and book beauty appointments with licensed cosmetologists.

2) Hiring and managing existing providers to maintain quality
Companies can raise the quality of service by hiring and managing providers themselves, and by managing the end-to-end customer experience. Examples are Honor and Trusted, managed marketplaces for elder care and childcare, respectively, which employ caregivers as W-2 employees and provide them with training and tools. In the real estate world, Redfin agents are employees whose compensation is tied to customer satisfaction, unlike most real estate agents who are independent contractors working on commission.

3) Expanding or augmenting the licensed supply pool
Expanding the licensed supply pool can take the form of leveraging geographic arbitrage to access supply that’s not located near demand. Decorist, Havenly, Laurel & Wolf, and other online interior design companies enable interior designers around the world to provide design services to consumers without physically visiting their homes (yes, in many parts of the US interior design requires a license!). With improvements in real-time video, richer telepresence technologies, and better visualization technologies, more synchronous services are also shifting from being delivered in-person to online. Outschool and Lambda School are examples of de-localizing instruction, enabling teachers and students to participate remotely while preserving real-time interaction.

Another approach is to help suppliers navigate the certification process. A16z portfolio company Wonderschool makes it easier for individuals to get licensed and operate in-home daycares.

Lastly, there’s the approach of augmenting certified providers so they can serve more customers. Fuzzy, an in-home veterinary service, uses AI and vet technicians to augment the productivity of licensed veterinarians; and a16z portfolio company Atrium builds automation and workflow management to provide efficiency gains in the legal industry.

4) Utilizing unlicensed supply
Some companies utilize unlicensed supply–notably Lyft, Uber, and other peer-to-peer rideshare networks. Another example is Basis, a managed marketplace for guided conversations with trained but unlicensed specialists to help people with anxiety, depression and other mild to moderate mental health issues.

In the pet space, Good Dog is a marketplace that brings together responsible pet breeders and consumers looking for a dog. Going beyond existing breeder licensing, which the company felt didn’t map to what consumers valued, Good Dog established its own higher set of standards and screening process in conjunction with veterinary and academic experts.

5) Automation and AI
Other startups automate away the need for a licensed service provider altogether. These include MDAcne, which uses computer vision to diagnose and treat acne; and Ike Robotics and other autonomous trucking startups which remove the need for a licensed truck driver.

Opportunities for companies addressing regulated services
The last twenty years saw the explosion of a number of services coming online, from transportation to food delivery to home services, as well as an evolution of marketplace models from listings to full-stack, managed marketplaces. The next twenty years will be about the harder opportunities that software hasn’t yet infiltrated–those filled with technological, operational, and regulatory hurdles–where there is room to have massive impact on the quality and convenience of consumers’ everyday lives.

The services sector represents two-thirds of US consumer spending and employs 80% of the workforce. The companies that reinvent various service categories can improve both consumers’ and professionals’ lives–by creating more jobs and income, providing more flexible work arrangements, and improving consumer access and lowering cost.

The companies mentioned in this essay just scratch the surface of regulated industries. You can imagine a marketplace for every service that is regulated, with unique features and attributes designed to optimize for the customer and provider needs for that industry. (A full list of regulated professions in the US can be found here.) We fully expect more Airbnb- and rideshare-sized outcomes in the service economy.

If you’re a founder who is looking to take on the challenge of tackling more complex services and bringing them online, we’d love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading!

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