Calculating Life Time Value in the Sharing Economy


Many new technologies have brought products and services to market ever since I published my thoughts on the semantic Web almost five years ago.

Points 1-3 evolved quite a bit, yet we have not cracked the code (completely):

Dealing with data

Both at personal level with one sign-on/identify we can carry across the Web and at business level, although many have made strides with integrations of personalization engines with CRM systems.

In addition to grappling with disparate legacy systems that do not speak to each other resulting in operational difficulties, we have quite a bit of core data disconnects — location, identity, calendaring of public events, product identities.

All preventing or making discovery still nuanced and less predictable than we would like. More analog and within the domain of brands with strong search juice.

Growth of networks

As predicted, many of the social networks that were populating the charts have either been consolidated, moved into niche uses, or disappeared. Which is good news for the mainstream contenders: Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

While our online activities are delivering better search results, we are not yet in a collaborative environment. Attention is a currency, yet it is only accidentally reciprocal. As I said in the post:

We need to make our Internet smaller, not bigger, yet more relevant to
us. The social network lives inside your data network. Tailored to your
needs and universal key to all your connections and relationships

An environment tailored to what we know and like would be more engaging at first. However, discovery remains an issue.

Beginning of the true era of conversation

End of selling as pitches or better pitches

Artificial Intelligence (AI) agents as service that determines what is
good for you given your specs, essentially just pull. Sales as push has
nowhere to go. The technology will be there to keep out what we don't

There will be people determined to create artificial personalities
that will try to trick your agent and entice it to let them through
your personal Internet/network walls. This is where the true meaning of
authenticity in authentication will come in.

When you're ready to make a
purchase, your personal AI agent will query open networks according to
set parameters and will make contact with the agent connected with the
right resources. With more information, we need more automation of the
smart kind.

This part got me into a productive discussion with Stephen Baker at Business Week, who picked up the thread and added that the best way to use those tools will be to relinquish much of our control. My response:

I think the opposite will happen — we will come upon content and people
related to what we are seeking in a more deliberate fashion and in much
less time. Which in turn has the potential to enrich our knowledge

To further Stephen's excellent use of
the word system, I think that the system will be our network, the AI agents the channel. People, process and technology all at your service.

Jury is still out. However, a new crop of digitally-enabled start ups has accelerated our pace toward service solutions.


I've been doing a lot of research on the changes brought about by a powerful combination of readily available bandwidth, responsive design that enables story- and content-driven experiences across devices, and the effects on human behavior and taxonomy.

For a sneak peak and preview see the new speaking topics. A renewed focus on product/experience is flipping the question of influence and refocusing us on reputation.

I believe what many are now calling the Sharing Economy calls for a new kind of responsive strategy. To connect operational excellence with optimization discipline and create revenue streams by calculating the life time value of experiences.


More on the implications for several industries where I've had the privilege of being embedded in my corporate days and as a consultant, including retail commerce, technology and financial services. 

Meanwhile, I have reached out to a few people who are doing interesting work related to these topics and pending availability I will be sharing what they're up to as part of kick starting again my series of conversations.



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a
speaking engagement click here.