Bitcoin? The World’s largest bank… but no cash.
Uber? World’s largest taxi company… but no cars.
Facebook? The World’s largest media centre… but creates no content.
Alibaba? The World’s most valuable retailer… they have no inventory.
Airbnb? The World’s largest accommodation provider… they have no real estate.
Take those in order, when is the last time you walked into a bank and actually talked to a teller? Or the last time you called for a licensed taxi? Did you buy a magazine this week? Marks & Spencer’s… Been there in the past year? When was the last time you reserved a hotel room by calling around on the phone and getting the best price? The funny thing is that they all would be nothing without the convergence of technology. Cryptocurrency and the Internet… GPS and mobile phones… Social media and all sorts of ways to connect… Online shopping and easy more efficient delivery… More efficient and cheaper ways to book a hotel room.
So what? So pretty much everything has gone! Bank tellers, gone… Taxi drivers, dirt price, TV Times magazine? Gone, oopsie! Store clerks, on their way out…Travel agents, what do they all do these days? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I guess we can all agree it is a “thing” at least. In all these cases the “middle man” is slowly going away. Buy direct from suppliers, it is delivered to your house, and essentially almost everything you want will simply show up by voice command. At some point, all you will have to do is “think it” and it will be made so… Wow Batman, “too cool for school!” Oh dear, come to think of it, even schools are online now, there are no bounds!
The implications are also endless. Should we fight it? Embrace it? No idea, except one thing, a very obvious thing… As this disintermediation continues, goods and services are cheaper. The middle man goes away and has to find another job. So what’s next, how will casinos, sportsbooks, slot machines and bookmakers change? I suppose in an ideal world, no one has a job and everything is free. Everyone lives forever… Seems like we are on our way. But I guess that is Nirvana? The planet becomes a life support system for scientists, A.I. is the norm and we achieve as a human sort of royal status compared to our ancestors. That is of course if the A.I. machines do not develop a survival instinct and clean up the neighbourhood.
Is this bad? Is this good? I would answer yes to both… Is this inevitable? Yes, if our human aggressive and competitive nature doesn’t end this. We also have global catastrophe issues, not to mention the sun burning out and even aliens maybe (talk about disintermediation). Here’s hoping you have a life-changing online slot win (and enjoy it) before all that we know is no more.