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Opinion

B2B, let’s stop being boring!

The B2B world is ripe for disruption, according to Edward Blomstedt.

As I see it, B2B has never really been a cradle for creative entrepreneurs and has mostly caught the attention of stakeholders showcasing investments, results, mergers, acquisitions and profit-related issues.

Never bold, nor exciting. No revolutionary ideas with the potential of rewriting the maps of whole industries, as B2C revolutionaries Uber, Spotify and Airbnb have done.

But, of course, there are some examples of groundbreaking new thinking in B2B. Fixed subscription-based law firms have shown that they can grow and change the landscape of their field. Another example are companies offering HR services as an outsourced subscription service.

These have in common a trend of subscription-based business models which has its roots in the B2C world. There are monthly payment models for gyms, music, video streaming and much more.

These services are signs that more and more B2B platforms surely will be causing paradigm shifts across the board.

The reasons for these changes are quite logical. In an interlinked world, the biggest value comes from harnessing and using existing capacity and resources to their max. Platform businesses allow just that. This means no more need to build new capacity while old capacity is standing idle – be it factories, transport lorries or any other resource that can be harnessed without owning them.

At the same time, the change also serves to level the playing field between SMEs and multinationals. When businesses thrived by acquiring and harnessing their own resources, the size of a company was a competitive advantage. In a world where platforms allow companies to harness existing capacity without needing to own it, smaller companies can move more dynamically and reach cost-efficiency levels closer to those of multinationals.

Even though our own AirFaas development started internally from an actual day-to-day need and not by copying Airbnb, in hindsight we can easily see the similarities and could have even used a copy-and-paste type of strategic innovation.

What is happening throughout the world of business, first in B2C and now soon in B2B, is a natural development fuelled partly by a drive to save resources and partly by simple logic. Since we have managed to develop digital tools that allow us to connect all kinds of cars, computers and even cranes and fridges to a network, why would we not use them to build ecosystems that make sure that we use the existing capacity as opposed to always building more?

Let us also not forget the enormous benefits for the environment. Or the implications for our work and society. But that is a whole other story.

Our AirFaas is just the first wave of platforms that are bound to change the B2B world as we know it. Have you thought about how you could do the same in your field, maybe with inspiration from the B2C world?

Published on 15.03.2018