bird / 4th July 2018
One of the most transformative business models to emerge from the tech revolution so far is the ‘sharing economy.’ This is in the same genre as Peer 2 Peer lending, Airbnb, Uber, and the multitude of other companies that provide the service of connecting one or more parties together for the betterment of all.
If you think about it, the ‘sharing economy’ is a deeply ancient thing. A village in medieval times would share a team of oxen to plough the fields, no one serf able to afford their own. It’s a natural part of community which is completely normal to human conduct. It got sidelined as consumerism encouraged sole ownership of things, them re-emerged as digital connectivity encouraged the sharing of resources via trusted platforms. Things just come back round again. If you’re fascinated to know more, “The Third Industrial Revolution” by Jeremy Rifkinis probably a worthwhile read. There’s also a nice video worth sharing. See how sharing has come back in a big way, we share without even knowing we’re doing it, at the touch of a button.
So what else can be shared? That’s the kind of question startup founders ask. I was pleased to see a new entrant into this space at FintechNorth, a company called AlgoLib. And what are they sharing? Algorithms. The complex mathematical formula at the core of software. The plan is to create a Library of these algorithms in an environment that enables software engineers to use and test them for their specific application. It’s a potentially very important move. A vast amount of development time is spent creating algorithms, which in all probability have already been created before by someone else for something else. If the software engineering community pooled its resources in this way it could only be a good thing for everyone. There’s already been some big acquisitions in the space, Kaggle.com and GitHub.com, the demand is there, the problem is there to be solved, it’s a good play. The democratising of algorithms. If only someone could find a way to democratise democracy as efficiently. As an afterthought, remember the Ebola crisis a few years ago? It was stamped out in a matter of just a few weeks when the competitive pharmaceutical industry put their boxing gloves down for a moment and decided to collaborate and share resources to create a vaccine, just for the humanity of it. Literally it took a few weeks. Makes you wonder doesn’t it. What could be. Let’s share.
Written by Bird Lovegod.