jschneider + disintermediation   3

In a Self-Serve World, Start-Ups Find Value in Human Helpers - The New York Times
"An economist would praise the great disintermediation for its efficiency. As a customer, you may have a different reaction: Look at all the work you’re now being asked to do. Was it really wise to get rid of all those human helpers?"
nytimes  airfares  travel-agents  human-touch  disintermediation 
december 2015 by jschneider
Cheap Words - The New Yorker
"Few customers realize that the results generated by Amazon’s search engine are partly determined by promotional fees.""In December, the company patented “anticipatory shipping,” which will use your shopping data to put items that you don’t yet know you want to buy, but will soon enough, on a truck or in a warehouse near you.""“Book publishing is a very human business, and Amazon is driven by algorithms and scale,” Sargent told me. When a house gets behind a new book, “well over two hundred people are pushing your book all over the place, handing it to people, talking about it. A mass of humans, all in one place, generating tremendous energy—that’s the magic potion of publishing. . . . That’s pretty hard to replicate in Amazon’s publishing world, where they have hundreds of thousands of titles.”"
newyorker  Amazon  algorithms  books  publishing  antitrust  competition  monopolies  stress  disintermediation  intellectual-property  philanthropy  WashingtonPost 
october 2014 by jschneider

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