Services for services (service inception type 2)

I wrote last year about ’service inception’, from the angle of services using other services within their service. Like, Gophr, who use Ask Nicely, who use Intercom, who I now realise use WordPress for their Blog. I like this. It’s also a good way of building confidence in those other services. Anyway, recently I’ve been noticing another type of service inception, where entirely new services emerge off the back of others, in a more symbiotic, or perhaps more parasitic like fashion. A sort of tertiary sector to the tertiary sector?

The first to catch my eye was Hostmaker, advertising on the side of a bus (suggesting they’re a big enough business to do so), alongside their claim of being the ‘#1 Airbnb Management Service in London’. Their organic Google search result seems to agree (although, sadly for them, due to the increasing visibility of Google Ads, Airsorted, Hello Guest and Lavanda all rank up along them and bury their genuine link).

Not being an Airbnb ‘host user’ (just a ‘guest user’) I’d never imagined the idea of having other people manage your let for you, but thinking about it reminded me of Drover which I saw open on Kingsland Road last year. At first I thought it was a cafe or just a workspace, or something, but later discovered their pitch to “Hire an Uber-ready PCO car today, From £184 per week (including comp. insurance)”. Googling more about PCO, in order to find out what it stood for (Public Carriage Office in case you’re wondering the same), I’ve found that it’s far from a new industry, but that it seems increasingly targeted at the Uber driver audience (with Ottocar, Weflex and PCOrent all pushing their Uber creds as well).

Now tuned into this services for services industry I’m remembering and realising loads more. Like the thing with people paying to have their IKEA furniture made for them, which Unflatpack have been doing since 2005. That’s less what I mean by service inception though, with IKEA being more just a shop than a service but now I’m just getting into the semantics. My point, if there is one beyond the observation, is recognising the clear eco systems that emerge out of services that are designed to be easy and straight forward to do yourself (like those apps that do last minute eBay bidding for you).

I wonder how deep it could get? Perhaps if I used more than one Airbnb host management service, I’d need another app to manage them? And if I did had services managing my services managing my Airbnb, Uber, eBay, TaskRabbit and Hassle relationships and workflows, if there’d be room for another concierge service on top of all them? Hey Siri…?

Now I’m remembering that guy who outsourced his job to China. Heck, what am I even doing writing this myself?! Wonder of do interaction and service design blog posts? Actually, forget people, it’s time I joined the bot business.

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