I don’t think Uber, Airbnb, and Instacart are anomalies in the way a lot of people tend to view them. I think they’re just a preview of what’s to come.
The biggest reason I got excited about Uber years ago, was because I realized that it wasn’t about transportation. This is about a company that sells me back time.
When it comes to business, time is your number one asset. In order of magnitude, we as a society literally care about the health our loved ones, money, and then time. It’s number three on that list. And if you really think about it, it’s stunning to watch people’s behaviors around the things they most value.
I had literally boycotted LA for four years when I was starting VaynerMedia because I didn’t want to have to hassle with the time it took to rent a car and get around. It was just too much of an investment. I valued my time so much that I didn’t even consider visiting. I love time. Uber gave me that time back.
Time is everyone’s number one asset.
We love time so much we don’t even think about it. Think about the last time your phone or your computer was a hundredth of a second slower than what you’re used to on WiFi and how much you cursed and got pissed off. That’s how much we like and crave time. It’s a huge theme that will play itself out and should be really understood by those of you who are looking for a place to play with new businesses.
Being able to buy and sell back time is what some of the most successful startups over the last 3 years have done. They capitalize on our craving to get back the time we have to spend on the things we don’t want to do. If you’re thinking in start-up mode, and looking for an inspirational seed as a starting point, I highly recommend thinking about time. People will massively overpay for it. And if you can figure out that trade off, you’re putting your business in a good position.