trust shift

Disruption is crossing out the middlemen. At least, that’s what was generally considered as disruption for the past couple of years. Crossing out the middlemen, however, hasn’t resulted in the disappearance of go-betweens altogether. It has created fewer yet more powerful intermediaries.

Innovation is restoring trust. Disruption is shifting towards that new trust. That’s what Philipp Kristian told me yesterday in a wildly interesting conversation.

Innovative companies that will prevail will be the most trustworthy ones.

middle trust

A prominent strategy for startups these last couple of years has been; cutting out the middleman. Traditionally, businesses got to their customers through intermediary parties such as agents, brokers, wholesalers, and distributors. Those businesses can now bypass said parties and sell directly to consumers. Transforming many business models drastically in the process.

The issue, however, is that the middlemen haven’t precisely been cut out. They’ve been replaced.

Arguably, AirBnB is one massive middleman, replacing thousands of in-between parties. Uber could be considered as one gigantic taxi dispatching central, replacing a multitude of others.

The way to succeed in a “cutting out the middlemen” strategy is twofold.

On the one hand, transactions have to be facilitated. That’s a given. Those transactions have to be fast, seamless, and convenient.

On the other hand, the perhaps less obvious aspect is becoming the most trustworthy party by far and large.

The middleman with the most trust is the one who will prevail.