Tag Archives: marketplace

Minted, where great designs come from


 “Could crowd-sourcing design build an e-commerce company that stayed in tune with its consumer audience forever?”- Mariam Naficy, founder of Minted

Minted was launched in 2007 after the owner Mariam Naficy got intrigued by the idea that there was hidden creative talent around the world whose work was not accessible to consumers and that the Internet could help surface. Minted started with a save-the-date card design challenge in 2008 and the company has been expanding ever since. Nowadays Minted is an online marketplace platform of independent artists located in Jackson Square, San Francisco. The marketplace offers a portfolio of four different product lines namely: stationery, fine art prints, home decor and wedding decor. (Minted, 2017)

 “Our purpose in life is to uncover exceptional design from all over the world and bring this to savvy consumers who won’t accept anything else.” – Minted

According to Minted, great design lives and thrives in the hands of independent artists that people do not have access to through traditional retailers. Minted uses technology to allow consumers to discover great creative talent, making Minted a place where artists can learn, gain exposure, and build their businesses. (Minted, 2017)

To give you an idea, the video below shortly shows an example of holiday cards.

How it works

The value generation lies within the hands of Minted’s customers and artists for several reasons. First, Minted continuously organizes open design challenges for independent artists from all over the word. The idea behind these challenges it that every artist, upcoming or experienced, is able to submit his or her ideas (Customer Value Proposition). These design challenges take place within every product line and next to Minted, consumers can also request for a design within a challenge. Second, within these challenges, customers vote on the design submissions and thereby deciding the winning designs (key resource and process). These winning designs are then taken into production and sold on the Minted marketplace (profit formula). By using crowdsourcing for physical design purposes, Minted applies a co-creator model (Chui et al., 2016; Johnson et al., 2008 Minted, 2017)

In addition, their crowdsource initiatives go even further. Minted’s community supports the personal development, creativity, and careers of independent artists in the world. Minted’s community currently exist of independent artists that are located in all 50 states of the US and more than 60 countries. For artists, Minted builds their brands and connect them with other artists. Within the community, artists are able to express themselves in a unique way and learn from critiques of other artists and talented peers (Customer Value Proposition). (Johnson et al., 2008; Minted, 2017)

Efficiency criteria

With the current structure of the challenges and Community, artists, customers as well as Minted benefit from it in distinctive ways. As you will see, this business model results in joint profitability for all parties. Within the platform, every artist is able to get exposure to the world and can thereby grow its own name. Artist of the winning submissions even receive a portion of every sale, and they earn a store where they can launch and sell designs using the Minted fulfillment platform with no need to manufacture, ship, or provide customer service. Customers vote and can thereby give direction to which designs they would like to see for sale (i.e. efficiency benefit). Finally yet importantly, Minted benefits from all the votes and uploaded ideas because it gives them certainty that they produce the most desired furniture.

MADE.com also satisfies the feasibility of required reallocations criteria.  First, the polity is not directly involved. Second, terms and conditions regarding what is allows and what not need to be accepted by stakeholders before contesting a challenge and creating an account on Minted. In addition, they only take 50% of the customer payment at the time that the customer accepts the project proposal. Remainder is retained by customer until the final artwork is approved and Minted does not remit the final payment to the artist until the delivery of the artwork is confirmed. Thereby ensuring for safe payments. (Minted, 2017)

To answer the question that started it all: YES, Minted shows that with crowd-sourcing design you can build an e-commerce company and stay in tune with its consumer audience forever.

References
Chui, C., Liang, T. & Turban, E. (2016) What can crowdsourcing do for decision support?. Journal of Decision Support Systems, 65: 40-49

Johnson, M.W., Christensen, C.M. & Kagermann, H. (2008). Reinventing your business model. Harvard Business Review, 86(12): 50-59

Minted (2017). From https://www.minted.com/about-us. Assessed at 07-03-2017

Hey neighbour, can I rent your drone?


Drones are becoming increasingly popular, cities are filmed from above with drones, drones can send packages and drones are even used in the army (drones.nl, 2017). More and more companies and individuals are interested in using drones, but what to do when you do not own a drone or in contrary, when you have a drone, but you do not use it that often? The sharing economy is already present in various aspects of society and this is exactly where the new peer-to-peer drone rental marketplace Up Sonder responds to.

Up Sonder
Just like renting a room through AirBnB, it is now possible to rent a drone. Up Sonder is a free platform and takes only a 5% provider service fee as revenue and on top of that, a small portion of the revenue is donated to help deliver access to clean drinking water to Africa (zdnet.com, 2017).

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Everyone who owns a drone can create a free profile and list their drone at their own price to become a provider and certified FAA remote drone pilots can also list themselves by adding their service. On the other hand, companies and individuals are able to filter and rent different kinds of drones and/or services in their direct area. The platform is easy to use and providers can manage and accept bookings from within the platform. Also, they are able to access payments, scheduling, inventory management, customer messaging and sales through the online portal. The renters on the other hand can schedule and make their payments quickly. Up Sonder collaborates with UberRUSH that picks up and drops of the drones when the rent is scheduled (upsonder.com, 2017).

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Efficiency Criteria
The utility for the consumers of the platform, the renters, is the fact that the platform is simple and fast and can be used anywhere at anytime. It is free to sign up and create a profile. Renters will switch to Up Sonder, because they do not have to buy a drone themselves, so they save money, and providers will switch to Up Sonder, because they can still make money of (unused) drones at their own price in an easy way. Besides that, the renters and providers become part of a larger community, which is fun and in which they do not have to exchange the money and drone themselves. It saves them money and time and maximizes the joint profitability.

On the other hand Up Sonder is feasible, because the platform takes care of several institutional arrangements. Firstly, to make the platform more reliable, etiquettes are present. The renters and providers can see photos of each other on their profiles and afterwards, both parties are able to write a review. At the same time, providers are protected by the platform from damage with insurance up to 2,500 dollars and renters are offered a refund policy with three different cancellation policies. Additionally, Up Sonder has a non-discrimination policy to make sure that people from all backgrounds are treated equally. The platform takes also care of the institutional environment. When providers earn more than 600 dollars in a tax year they have to fill in a tax form and payments are made by means of established methods.

Up Sonder meets several efficiency criteria and is rapidly growing. Having a drone and using its services is made available for everyone!

References
http://www.zdnet.com/article/drone-rental-marketplace-up-sonder-goes-national/
https://www.upsonder.com
https://www.drones.nl/nieuws/2014/08/drones-wat-kun-je-er-mee

I want your spot! I’ll give you 50 dollars!


The term “sharing economy” is one of the biggest buzzwords out there. The sharing economy, also known as the peer-to-peer economy, is a socio-economic ecosystem that evolves around the sharing of resources (Matofska, 2015).. The sharing economy has developed very strongly over the past years due to the development and wide-spread availability of information technology. It has produced many interesting new business models, of which some have disrupted many traditional industries. Examples are of course UBER and AIRBNB. Another very interesting example of the sharing economy is Shout; a marketplace for “spots” in the form of a mobile application (Medium, 2016)!

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