Chapter 6. MORE VALUE

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Abraham Lincoln


Businesses will no longer be able to passively extract value for the privilege of sitting in the middle of a transaction. Instead, they will need to work harder to actively contribute value to all parties—and authentically market that value.

The days of passively extracting value for the privilege of sitting in the middle of an exchange between two parties are numbered. Today, the real cost of using a middleman is often hidden. But blockchain entrepreneurs, lured by the prospect of disintermediating incumbents, will launch attractive alternatives that open customers’ eyes to those costs. These new offerings will use blockchain features to reduce friction and cost.

Customers will grow skeptical of middlemen, and more carefully scrutinize what value they actually provide in exchange for the cost of working with them. Middlemen—and most businesses have at least some middleman role—will have to more actively provide value versus passively extracting it. They’ll also need to work harder at making sure their customers see the magnitude of the value they provide, and this will become an important focus at every customer touchpoint. Incumbents will need to continually increase the value they provide in lockstep with an increasingly competitive landscape as the technology matures.

The Setting

Wired for Middlemen

Since the dawn of trade, middlemen have played a valued role in getting buyers what ...

Get Unblocked now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.