In the past I’ve written a lot about the on-demand economy and the “uberfication” of everything. The key proponent of this trend is that the smartphone acts as a magic wand for marketplaces, matching supply and demand with a quick swipe. It’s eaten so many industries and will continue to as more and more marketplaces are built out.
As mobile matures, the next iteration of this trend will be to leverage the technology to create effective secondary markets. We saw a lot of these in the web 1.0 era with secondary markets for big ticket items like electronics, cars, and houses (some of which are still very successful companies today).
As these markets move to mobile, they’re changing the concept of owning expensive goods. These purchases are no longer sunk costs, but rather something people can swap and change over relatively frequently.
This plays into a larger demographic shift which is happening whereas the average millennial owns less and is avoiding expensive purchases and commitments (look no further than the rise of Airbnb as well as music festivals). This creates a bid opportunity for entrepreneurs to create effective, easy-to-use liquidation markets that reduce the sunk cost risk of purchasing an expensive item.
Craigslist is the web 1.0 solution but is ineffective because of the lack of transparency, effectiveness and the uneasiness of the entire situation. As was first pointed out by Andrew Parker from Spark, there’s been a massive unbundling of Craigslist in the last 5+ year, with several high profile companies built such as Etsy, Airbnb, OkCupid, Elance, RedFin, Indeed, etc.
We believe that furniture will be the next massive category to move away from Craigslist. It might be the most logical as well, given the logistical nightmare involved in moving furniture from point A to point B.
Metamorphic recently made our first investment leveraging this trend in a company called Move Loot. Move Loot is the easiest way to buy and sell furniture. A user just takes a picture of an item, Move Loot comes and picks it up, sells the item for you and gives you money for the sale. If this is effective, we believe it will change the concept of owning furniture.
No longer will people look at furniture as a sunk cost that will be apart of their homes for over a decade, but rather as something interchangeable that can be bought and sold in an efficient, painless manner.
Bill and team have already built out an efficient marketplace in both the bay area and North Carolina, and we’re excited for the rest of the country to see how great the Move Loot experience is.