We are all now 'Uber's Children.' Here's what to expect next.
We want what we want now. And we're used to getting it. We are Uber's children--we've been trained to have everything on our terms, and have it instantly, for free, thanks to the ride-sharing company.
The phrase Uber's Children (coined by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden of eatbigfish) sums up the unreasonable expectations consumers now hold. We have such demanding expectations across every category we visit. And these expectations don't dip between categories; if we see something is possible in one category, we don't understand why we can't get it somewhere else. So in this era of ever-stretching unreasonableness, what can we expect next? And how can we get ready for the future? Unreasonableness can show up in many forms: cheaper, quicker, more personalized and more streamlined. And here's how it's transforming four key industries.
We have Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO go providing content at the drop of a hat. And even though this content is quality stuff, we still have to pay for it. When you compare it to regular cable, it seems like a great deal, but next to YouTube, Snap and Instagram, and niche content platforms like Funny or Die, things start to fall apart. Amazon Prime got into the content game by including access in their Prime membership. The $99 annual membership was already good value, but with the content added in (and the addition of the exclusive Prime Live event series), there's more reasons to stay on year after year. When it comes to our entertainment, we don't just want it now, but we want it free. Even operations and logistics companies like Alibaba are entering the free content game. With this trend on the rise, it's not impossible to imagine a world where paid subscription services wither, and free content platforms take over. In a sad, poetic twist, Netflix could well become the next Blockbuster.
Look For: More and more entertainment will come from brands, and come for free. They are now entertainers, not sellers.
Beauty takes too long. Historically the beauty industry has had questionable efficacy, atoned for by the luxurious pampering that accompanies it. But now it's the other way round. The rise of beauty quick fixes, and a subsequent democratization of these services has taken over. Take Benefit Cosmetics 'Brow Bars' that will fix your brows in ten minutes, or GlamSquad, that will come to your door and make you glam in an instant, at a cost so affordable it can become a habit. There is now even have a hair color treatment that can be done in ten minutes, offered at the newly opened VoBlo in Beverly Hills. What once took two hours, can now be done in the time it takes to dry nail polish. As salon owner Kim Vo says "We have fast fashion. We now have fast beauty". Vo explains that his clients are busier than ever, and their time impossibly scarce. He wanted to create a service that would allow clients to "Maintain Magnificence" without an onerous time commitment, so they can keep up with the demands, and unpredictability, of modern life.
Look For: Beauty services getting even more condensed - the same results, but half the time.
Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Blue Apron have already transformed the grocery business. We don't need to even go into the store to get what we need any more. Shopping the aisles, lugging heavy groceries and scouring the shelves for what we want feels primitive. Getting our groceries on demand is an unreasonable ask, especially as the delivery fee is so often negligible, if there is one at all. But like all things, it can get even better, cheaper, faster and personalized. With the rise of personalized food programs, based on your own biometrics--like nutrition tech startup Habit--there's a strong chance that these program will integrate with supermarkets in the future. This means that you buy what your body needs.
Look For: Groceries that not only come to you, but come tailored to your specific needs
Uber and Lyft have already radically changed the way we get around. And the same concept has been extended to airplanes with Flytenow and Blackjet. Thanks to these disrupters, we're used to getting where we need to go at the click of a button, and at a fraction of the cost of a taxi. Meanwhile, bike share programs have transformed our relationship with ownership; it's now more convenient to ride point to point than be weighed down with your own bike. Turo and GetAround allow people to lease their cars to other drivers in need of wheels, on both a long and short-term basis. Mobility has changed, and car manufacturers, who seemed to be lagging, are now catching up. As well as bringing innovations to the cars themselves (like driverless technology), the real innovation is comes when one company solves all your mobility needs. Ford invested in ride share company Chariot, GM Invested $500 million into Lyft and Fiat Chrysler sent 500 minivans for Waymo to use as part of their test fleet.
Look For: Companies that solve all your mobility needs; a car, bike share, jet share and taxis all in one tidy package.
This article was first published on Inc.com