A reaction on Twitter about Gorillas’ ultra-fast grocery delivery was food for thought. “Flash delivery can also be done via the traditional way; ask the neighbors (via the neighborhood app). As recently done with success. I had forgotten to buy mushrooms. Within 7 minutes on the doorstep. Coronaproof with a smile”.
The power of global platforms
The rise of platforms like Amazon, Home Delivery, Uber, Zalando, Metaverse, Booking, Bolt, and Airbnb is not surprising. They offer many products and services, ultra-fast and with great convenience for the customer. As a result, the power of the global platforms is increasing. Smaller, local players are only allowed to play along according to the rules of the big platforms; winner-takes-all! Can’t we do a better and fairer job together by arranging it ourselves?
With the rise of ultra-fast delivery companies, I recently wondered if local retailers can still win. Can local companies solve this together? Bundle their offerings, create an ordering and payment platform and make joint agreements with local delivery networks on fast delivery. This also applies to local cab companies, restaurants, private car-sharing, and other service providers.
Why not create local platforms for local users. What does a cab company in Amsterdam gain from rides requested in Hong Kong? What does a hungry consumer in Luxemburg win from promotions by sushi restaurants in San Francisco?
From Web 2.0 to Web3
Late last year, Web3 came into the media that is supposed to be the next evolution of the Internet. With Web 2.0, large, centralized companies emerged to offer services to users; the global platforms.
Web3 is a decentralized version of the Internet, where data is not stored in a few central places but via blockchain technology in many different places. On Web3, services and platforms run on decentralized technology. These services and platforms “talk” to each other when and where they want to and to whom they want to, like the example with the mushrooms. And, last but not least: how they settle with each other.
I don’t yet have the answer to how all this will work. But, I think it’s a fascinating question how we can arrange local-for-local platforms better and fairer with the new possibilities that Web3 offers?
Walther Ploos van Amstel.