“I’ve long been a believer that on-demand is going to revolutionize every service sector in the economy. There will be different flavors of it, based on the characteristics of particular verticals. Five years from now, this is how everybody’s going to get service for everything,” said Urgent.ly CEO Chris Spanos.
“One of the challenges is a lot of the tools around the ecosystem have not really been built to scale for the small business owner, and they still require a lot of sophistication in understanding how to buy and sell media. The opportunity is in looking at how some of these platforms are evolving. I think programmatic will become a very strong opportunity for the small business owner,” said NinthDecimal president David Staas about shifting trends in location-based marketing and audience targeting.
“A lot of companies started with a one-product solution — ReachLocal in search and other companies in email marketing or social. But our customers’ needs evolved, and they needed more than that one product. In order to stay relevant with your market, you have no choice but to broaden,” said ReachLocal CEO Sharon Rowlands about the pressure to offer a full suite of services.
“It’s about establishing trust and community. I think there will be many different Craigslists, each for your own local community. That’s where something big can be built in the local space — a Craigslist that’s organized by neighborhoods, rather than by cities,” said Redpoint Ventures partner Satish Dharmaraj about local “unicorns” waiting to emerge.
“There is no way a company can start with a holistic service. You have to specialize then grow. But I will say because of the cloud it’s very easy to bolt on other providers to create a holistic service,” said ShopKeep founder Jason Richelson about branching out beyond his company’s initial focus on SMB point-of-sale software.
“In today’s ecosystem, there’s no fooling around anymore. You have some serious players taking 80 or 90 percent of the share, and the only way that you’re ever going to compete is with scale, targeting, a large user base, and product capabilities that can command real budgets,” said ironSource CEO Chris Cunningham about ad-tech consolidation.
“If you’re not going to fundamentally improve the guest experience, then there’s really no motivation for either the consumer to change the way that they’re buying in the restaurant or for the merchant to replace the operating practices they have,” said Swipely CEO Angus Davis about mobile payments.