It’s been hard to go more than a day or two at a time here without hearing about the Uber/taxi conflict. It’s unsurprising that taxi drivers are upset because Uber has done an amazing job completely revitalizing the market for single ride, paid transportation. It’s been even more interesting to watch events unfold as taxi drivers have protested frequently against the city for allowing Uber to operate (though perhaps the focus of their protests should be on the taxi medallion monopoly that’s causing their costs to be so high in the first place). Meanwhile, one thing has been surprisingly absent from the content of these protests – the customer.
Uber has succeeded and is continuing to eat up market share thanks to a customer first approach. Accessing an Uber is simple and straightforward. Wait times for an Uber to arrive are better than the competition. The cost of riding in one is significantly lower than the competition. Drivers are directly rated on their performance, giving Uber invaluable customer feedback seconds after a ride finishes. Their business model is highly disruptive and highly effective.
Personally I think there’s a similar market shakeup occurring in commercial real estate. Older real estate companies are still attempting to operate in the way they always have – leasing buildings as a whole, or entire floors at a time. Unfortunately, large companies are more frequently working with small teams spread around the globe as opposed to consolidating in a single spot. Many other large organizations are shedding employees and downsizing. On the other side of the coin, small companies are increasingly looking for space and talent. The issue with them searching for space is a small company of a handful of people does not need an entire floor. The real estate market has been extremely slow at moving to adapt to this new reality. I think this is something TheCodeFactory has been great at doing and is extremely disruptive given the current market. Small company friendly office space on shared floors is a solution that is catered directly toward small business.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here with regard to commercial real estate, but I think shared office space is going to become a more prominent fixture of it as we move forward.
Guest post from Gareth Graham of Go Cloud Based