Inspirational stories from the marketplace: essential podcast listening
The internet is a great leveler. Being an open and limitless medium, anyone can be the next Travis Kalanick, Brian Chesky, or even a next-gen Jeff Bezos. All it takes is the passion and vision, an idea or two, and an approach that combines gritty determination with almost infinite energy and patience.
There are quite a few such individuals featured on the Platform Players podcast: people who have come up with a great idea for a marketplace, and then used technology as the platform on which to build their dreams, from the virtual ground up.
Those marketplaces too are great levelers. Both in the technological and physical sense, a marketplace is somewhere people go to sell or exchange something with people who want to buy or exchange in kind. New sharing economy marketplaces are springing up all over, and the process behind each tends to be, generally, the same:
Potential customer expresses a need:
- I need a new website
- My logo needs redesigning
- Can someone please walk my dog?
- Who wants to swap houses for a reciprocal vacation let?
- I can do that!
- Pay me a few dollars, I’ll oblige
- Great idea: let’s talk!
Platforms and marketplaces bring people together so they can meet, and potentially transact, in a safe and reliable place whether that’s online, in person or a combination of both.
The Platform Players podcast features some unbelievably inspiring stories of single innovators and entrepreneurs who have successfully brought their concepts to life. Their creations are bringing together individuals, companies, neighbors, friends, and colleagues to a place where they can safely transact with one another, confident knowing that their goods or services won’t go unpaid for, or that what’s paid for will arrive. And whether that arrival is in the form of an individual to walk your faithful four-legged companion or someone with just the right tools to build your flatpack furniture (or erect a stud wall), depends on the marketplace.
The Future of Platforms is Shared
According to the World Economic Forum, by 2025 the sharing economy will make up 50 percent of economic activity in key sectors like hospitality and shared mobility, with revenues worth $335 billion, up from $15 billion in 2013. Challenges facing marketplace innovators are being overcome by astute use of technology in the tools needed to build the platforms in use today, and those that are coming online in the near future. Platform Players tells the stories of real people, with experiences and methods will shape the economic future of the world.
The Voices Behind Platform Players
The team behind the podcast is Yapstone, a Walnut Creek (CA)-based company that powers the payments for global platforms. The company is instrumental in delivering that critical currency that runs through every marketplace: trust.
After all, if there’s no guarantee that payments of even a few dollars will get to the intended recipient, and that the amount can be returned if necessary, the whole structure collapses. The same trust needs to exist, especially, in more significant transactions of course (vacation home rentals, for example), but also is the foundational element that provides assurance to all parties in every aspect of the agreed trade or barter.
Yapstone’s Chief Revenue Officer, Kurt Bilafer is the host of Platform Players, a platform industry veteran bringing twenty years of platform, payments and technology experience to the table. Bilafer is a former Amazon executive and was previously the Chief Revenue Officer of WePay (acquired by JP Morgan Chase). Kurt invites his guests to talk about their business passion – delivering intelligent yet captivating storytelling.
Inspiration for Platform Leaders
Bilafer often drives home the point that marketplace activities might let people into your home, your life and the lives of your nearest and dearest. If it’s a service or product that you care about (a home-sitter, a dog walker, or even a babysitter), everyone needs to know that things are more than merely “above board”.
It’s on that platform of trust that people like Jason Meltzer (featured in episode one of the Platform Players podcast) have built thriving and inspiring marketplaces. Today, Jason’s Wag! platform is used in multiple cities, having expanded quickly from its beginnings in Santa Monica. What started as walking dogs in exchange for pocket money snowballed into millions of dog walkers connecting with dog owners – all built on trust. Today, Meltzer has moved onto innovating more platforms – most recently, Skoot TV, a no subscription, commercial-free movie streaming network and a community for cinephiles to earn rewards for watching, taking and sharing everything movie related. (You can sign up now to get your first movie free).
Subscribe to Platform Players
Subscribe to Platform Players for more stories of the individuals and communities changing things for themselves and their communities with inspiring journeys. So, whether your project is just an idea or a fully-fledged business that needs to go to the next level, get inspiration for your ears and mind from Platform Players, powered by Yapstone’s framework of trust.
16 December 2020