The idea isn’t all that new but it’s the viability due to technological maturity that seems to make this the time to buy. In the article– Click Here For A Better Christmas, the web service Karma borne of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Lee Linden received the ultimate gift when the mega social-media site Facebook rang him about his service. Now owned by Facebook, the gift service is already being intertwined into the site’s DNA in an effort to up its revenue-generating ability. The service will partner the online retailers with the alert system for big dates and automatically suggest gifts and then place the task of shipping in the capable hands of merchant partners. This will allow quicker speeds and more opportunity for online-retail developments. I can envision some one merely liking pages of gifts they would like to receive and then this list would be suggested to friends of them when their Birthday or any other gift orientated holidays roll around. This would greatly reduce holiday stress and gift returns but maybe more importantly to retailers, it would ensure that those people who are interested in particular products can voice so in a public way, a win-win for any firm’s marketing group.
Now, consider this in respect to the relationships we assign to networks. Let’s consider the ideas discussed in chapter 10 about matching markets and what significance these ideas could hold for Linden and Facebook. Here we have a huge market place forming, where buyers are now given much more power in acquiring goods and services. Likewise, the sellers have a much stronger platform for their product retail. This ought to result in what we had called Optimal Assignment, roughly meaning a maximization of the total happiness of everyone for what everyone gets. The idea being that the market will have much more capacity to exchange and therefore increase the amount of goods going to buyers who demand them, and coincidently increase the allocational efficiency of the seller’s resources. This could reduce a lot of the deadweight losses attributable to matching issues among buyers and sellers, and the efficacy of this “Billion Node” marketplace my catch on much quicker than expected. The ideas for other serviceable product integration to attract stronger retailers and draw more customers in are practically endless. The scalability of the project is also impressive, offering both store and consumer a global presence and all of the options associated with it.
Other thoughts to consider involve the role of Facebook as an intermediary, and the evolution of the relationships between all parties in this new and complex system. What role will customer reviews play, much like a friend seeing you liked a product they know about and how will their decisions affect others. That in itself could become its own business much like Yelp! and drastically change the landscape for consumer review agencies and organizations.
Please feel free to share your thoughts!