P2P

Customer service: which brands really get it?

The customer service industry was created by mistake.

It’s been effectively outsourced by many companies (intent only on cost containment) for the past decades, and since the advent of the consumer internet has often been woefully ill-suited to meeting customer needs. 

The sharing economy: 40+ peer-to-peer start-ups

Peer-to-peer services are starting to mess things up for real.

Which industries are next to be disrupted by the sharing economy? Will we cease to ‘own stuff’?

Whether you’ve only just heard about Airbnb, or are actively sharing your pride and joy via RelayRides, this is a disruptive business model that is expanding every quarter.

As Rachel Botsman eloquently puts it, many are learning to

  • Trust in strangers.
  • Value access over ownership.
  • Value experiences over owning stuff.

If you want hard numbers, Forbes magazine has estimated total revenues across the sharing and P2P companies could reach $3.5bn by 2014, with growth exceeding 25%.

So, here’s a decent sized list of companies focused on collaborative consumption, along with some warning shots, or notes of opposition from more traditional quarters. Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom, you’ll realise just how many of these companies there are.

France’s ‘three strikes’ piracy law hasn’t helped music or movie sales

What’s the best way to stamp out piracy? In France, the entertainment industry was successful in pushing a ‘three strikes’ law that would boot serial infringers from the web.

That went into effect in October 2010. So how’s it doing?

According to HADOPI, the agency tasked with administering and enforcing the law of the same name, things are going just great. 

A report it released, which looked at data for the 17-month period following the law’s implementation, claims that “illegal downloading [is] clearly on the decline in France.”

Visa launching P2P payments, but is it a decade late?

Visa’s motto may be “More people go with Visa,” but when it comes to payments between people, Visa and other major credit card associations are largely absent.

The market for P2P payments is instead dominated by newer players, such as PayPal, which has been around for less than a decade and a half. And more recently, a slew of startups is looking to create new markets and take advantage of untapped niches.