Think about it. If you boil everything down to its essence, there is one thing and one thing only that drives disruption in any given industry. And that is…
…information. It sounds overly simplistic but it’s true. People can and will only act on what they know about. An unknown in any given vertical can only make a splash when the word gets out. When knowledge is not hoarded by the few, it is the many who benefit.
The motivator for this socialist-sounding mini rant was a great write-up in Racked.com about Homepolish, a service that does interior design right: it takes the mystery and the larceny out of the process of making your home, apartment, room, or office beautiful. The customer sets the tone and the budget, and Homepolish matches them to a designer. The designer works by the hour and gets no mark-up of the decor items purchased.
This approach transfers the benefit for the designer from making expensive recommendations to making the best recommendations because there’s no financial incentive to do otherwise.
With more designers able to do more and more work, more design gets done, more people are happy and more liquidity is pumped into the economy. Will this mean that fewer people call will Mario Buatta? Probably not, because the part of the market that can afford him probably doesn’t care too much about design within reach (in either sense of the word).
Interior design is an unregulated industry, so it’s easy to have disruption. Indeed, in regulated industries where there cannot be complete transparency, it is much more difficult for disruption to happen. Homepolish simply serves as a fresh reminder that, where there is the free flow of information, disruption is soon to follow.