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Disintermediation plagues extractive, illiquid marketplaces where talent has not been commoditized, i.e. clients want to work with a particular individual. Once a positive relationship has been established, parties bypass the platform to transact without fees. Such marketplaces facilitate first introductions only and, therefore, require business models that montize that first interaction (Thumbtack is a “first-introduction” only business with a pay-per-quote model).
Conversely, Uber operates a highly liquid talent market. Clients do not have driver preferences, or they forego personal prefernece for lower cost and greater convenience. Therefore, customers continue returning to the platform, consolidating demand and forcing service providers (talent) to also return, despite fees.
Given that Prism aims to be a talent marketplace that nourishes unique talent and relationship building, it is prone to disintermediation. Therefore, Prism must deliver more perceived value than fees charged to either the client or talent involved in a transaction. Otherwise, one of the parties will be motivated to transact off-platform.
We believe that token rewards will be the key incentive mechanism to avoid disintermediation because tokens provide additional upside - a stake in the network's value and future offerings (e.g. collective benefits, dispute resolution, etc.). While, users are rewarded for any (positive) participation on the platform, rewards can grow over time for repeat use (and/or level advancement).
The primary consequence of bypassing the platform is that transactions will not be recorded on the blockchain; therefore, users cannot share in the token updside and do not contribute to their official, vetted Prism professional identity.
Users who choose to bypass Prism either don't believe in Prism's value proposition (and have plenty of other products to choose from) or misunderstand Prism's value proposition because they are cheating their own stake.
- What will keep talent and clients transacting on the platform while charging the necessary fees?
- What amount of churn or disintermediation is acceptable?