Introduction: The Shift from Supply to Demand

Think about the way you buy products and services today compared to just 10 or 20 years ago. Whether you are buying a book (like this one), or renting a movie, or finding a ride to the airport, the buying experience has undergone a total transformation.

Today, instead of being forced to buy at a place and time that is convenient for the company, you can now buy just about anything from the comfort of your own home, or from your office, or from just about anywhere (provided you have an internet connection). And best of all, you can buy in real time or whenever is most convenient for you, the customer.

Today, Customers Have All the Power

Want to rewatch your favorite movie? Just a few years ago, that meant trudging to a video rental store and waiting in line so you could rent a DVD or VHS tape. Today, with just a few clicks, you can watch all of your favorite movies and TV shows on-demand—no waiting in line.

Ready to catch that ride to the airport? Just a few years ago, that meant walking to a cab stand, or trying to hail a cab from the sidewalk (not as easy as it sounds), or calling a cab company the day before, being put on hold, having to call back in the morning, and then never knowing for sure whether someone would show up. Today, you can schedule a ride on your phone with the push of a button and have it arrive at your door in a few minutes. (And you can track your driver’s progress on a map inside the app so you know exactly ...

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