Question. Is Uber a software play or a curation play? I believe the latter. The end game is a ride from point A to point B. That’s what consumers want. Is it software enabled? Sure. But you are not getting to the airport or home from your pub crawl sitting on your iPhone. So is it in the software business? Curation business? Or transportation business. (Many would say transportation but remember, Uber doesn’t own the cars or employ the drivers.) Travis Kalanick, UberCEO, is right when he says he’s in the logistics business. His business is software-enabled and consumer-driven — but curation-based. Jeremiah Owyang calls this the sharing economy. Me thinks it’s closer to the curation economy.
Amazon started out in the ecommerce book business. Then it moved into the mass retail business. It morphed into a curation business when it allowed other retailers to use its platform. Then there’s Google. Google loves to say it’s a technology company. Most think it’s a search company. If you ask their CFO, s/he might say Google is an advertising company – that’s where the bank deposits come from. Or is it a curation company? Hmmm. Curating access to information through the algo. As my Norwegian aunt might have said “Tink about it.”