Among the three, I have been most fascinated by markets. As a result, I have been studying examples of how such an organisational design can be applied in industries that needs transparency and a more efficient way to manage scare resources.
Markets are difficult to built because you are trying to solve a simultaneous equation of bringing together both demand and supply. However, once they are created, they unleash powerful incentives that spurred more innovations. Just take a look at the current markets we know: Apple App Store, Ebay, Google Adsense, Carbon trading et al. Not only have they created more value in themselves, they have enabled entire sub industries to be build on top of them. Just think of analytics, research, risk management, trading platforms, and other feeder businesses.
I am paying attention now to new forms of markets that being created. I think there are a wide spectrum of opportunities for any startup if they pay enough attention of these new markets:
organise resources more efficiently than firms. It is something I have been learning over the past year and is one of my goals to continue gaining a deeper understanding in 2009.Market for healthcare services: Carol is creating a centralized health care market place for consumers within a given regional community. A market place as defined by a centralized place where by consumers can shop, compare, and purchase health care services in an open, transparent way. They empower previously disjointed healthcare providers to form partnership to create healthcare packages with full price transparency. As a result, many different types of packages have formed and consumers now have the option to choose the one with the most value.
Markets for Water: Australia is the leading edge country in creating a water market. It has become a powerful tool to solve the water shortage crisis in a sustainable way. If people have the incentives to profit from better water management, they will actually do it. Once that happens, think of all the research, risk management and other forms of market enhancement businesses that will be needed. Waterfind is a good example.
Market for fishing stocks (and implications for food resources): Fish stocks have been eroding due to over fishing. What once was considered an abundant resource is now facing depletion. The birth of the Individual Transferable Quotas (ITQs) was an effort to reorganise the resources using a market approach. So far, the results look promising.
What other new markets have you seen developing?
Idea generation #5: Creating new market exchanges
Startup Idea #68: Personal carbon trading
Idea generation #50: Markets for energy