In the past, our perspective of the Collaborative Economy has been through startups, like Airbnb, oDesk, Lyft, Uber and Lending Club that enable people to get what they need from each other, using commonly available technologies like online marketplaces and mobile apps.
Today, Google has entered the Collaborative Economy with a series of announcements that leave a casual reader scratching their head. But placing the announcements line by line, you can see an organized attempt to enter this space traditionally dominated by early stage startups.
- Google is a major investor in Uber and Lending Club.
- Google plans to roll out self-driving cars, competing with car manufactures.
- Google now resells P2P loans, competing with banks.
- Google partners with Airbnb and Lyft, challenging hotels and taxis.
- Google is reportedly building a ride hailing app to compete with Uber.
What it means to the Ecosystem:
Google’s announcements, in sequence spell considerable impacts to the entire ecosystem of startups, purists, investors, businesses, merchants, and of course, to the people, here’s how each ecosystem player is impacted:
- Google will be in a dominant position if they can successfully deploy.
- Google and Uber are in a tenuous relationship.
- Startups have no choice but to evaluate partnering with Google.
- Sharing economy idealists feel threatened as large, tech companies embrace the concept.
- Investors embrace Google’s streamlining of the market.
- Brands seek to separate hype from reality with new commerce models.
- For the people, this mainstreams access to real-time services rather than ownership.
Google’s mission is to organize the worlds’ information, but they won’t stop there. They’ll also organize our delivery, our transportation, our food service, our money, and our lives.
Here comes Google. Get ready.