Interested customers fill out a short survey to gauge their interests and travel style, then get paired with a Vayable travel guide based in their destination to design a bespoke tour. The company has a roster of 5,000 guides stationed in 500 cities. Travelers pay a $45 trip development fee whether they accept the package or not. Travel guides, who are often available for advice on the ground, charge whatever they think is fair. Wong says that the average guide fee is $250.
This example demonstrates what we expect to be an increasingly common employment pattern in the future. Entrepreneurial savants will create platforms (Vayable, Air BnB) that allow individuals to offer custom experiences and products to consumers under-served by the “one size fits all” blue model. Those who created the platforms will make the most profit, but those who use them for employment will, with a little creativity and effort, be able to work themselves into steady employment. And, in the end, customized products will offer all of us a richer, more satisfying life.[Travel image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.]