Middlemen beware

Few, if any industry is immune to the effects technology has on traditional business models.  Middlemen that offer no value to the equation will fall victim to superior, customer-driven systems.

Examples:

Craigslist toppled the multi-billion dollar classified advertising business replacing it with a simple and hyper efficient web based network.  Kiva has begun to reinvent philanthropy by making it possible for donors to fund recipients directly while monitoring the impact of their contribution.

The web has changed things.  The rules have changed.  Change has changed.

Today, kids with cameras and internet connections can garner larger audiences than network television.  Loners with keyboards can bring billion dollar industries to their knees and college dropouts can build corporations worth billions.

If you think you're a middleman, head's up:

  1. Your customers are now in charge;
  2. Be transparent or have transparency thrust upon you;
  3. Do what you do best and link to the rest;
  4. Never act like the music industry.

Or, you can wait to read about the demise of your industry in the newspaper, if it still exists.