1. Technology Advancements and Social Media
Today we collaborate and share online documents stored in the clouds and host virtual meetings and webinars with hundreds of global participants at the click of a few buttons. The advancements in technology, networks, security and online communications combined with the rise of social media have reached a tipping point. Usage and awareness have increased immensely in wired countries with high adoption rates of smart and mobile devices, new apps and platforms appear weekly and are changing the way the world communicates, interacts, shops and soon invests.
People are increasingly reaching out connecting with online communities that share similar interests to exchange ideas, solve problems and interact with one another for social benefits such as the number of ‘friends, likes and connections’. According to ComScore’s 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus study, Canada leads the world in online engagement in terms of average hours, pages and total visits per visitor. Canadian visitors topped highly wired countries including the US, UK, and South Korean spending on average 45 hours per month online with the majority of time spent on social media and entertainment site like twitter, linkedIn and Tumblr.
Disintermediation is about cutting out the middlemen and bringing buyers-sellers, creators-supporters and projects-communities together directly with one another. People want easy, transparent solutions, not complicated ones. Traditional business models have built up too many layers of management and middlemen making transactions slow, costly and sometimes less than transparent.
E-bay is a good ecommerce example that enables buyers-sellers to connect directly with one another reducing the need for traditional wholesalers, distributors and brokers that usually exist in a traditional retail model. Users benefit from a cost effective, efficient and enhanced shopping experience where users can rank and review products for the benefit of others, ask questions, buy online via a secure check-out process in a 24/7 online store that never turns out the lights.