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I will be discussing with Kiki, the 30,000 foot view of "uberization" and how it will impact associations. It is not good enough any longer for associations to just "do good." It is vital for them to add value to their members professionally (societies) or in their business (trade associations). If associations do not, they will be left behind in the wake of innovative competing organizations or for-profit companies getting into their business. After discussing the uberization element, I will dial it down to the daily practical keys that associations need to excel at to maximize member value and drive engagement.
Looking forward to the chat. The residential cleaning industry was one of the early industries affected by this with a company called HomeJoy. Google gave them $30M in venture capital, but they were not able to solve their quality issues before the money ran out.. We were proactive, and worked with out members to provide them knowledge regarding online booking tools.
Like most innovations, their value is creating something new, not merely replacing an incumbent product or service. The notion of urbanization seems a good fit for what economists would define as a "private good"; perhaps not so useful for what economists call a "public good".
To the extent that membership-based associations provide some private goods (e.g., training, education, meetings), urbanization may be an opportunity and/or a threat. But I tend to think not so much of a fit for those public goods created by associations (e.g., improved competitiveness in industries due to standards, consumer and legislative advocacy, etc.).
Will you and Tom be segmenting the association market in your discussion of urbanization and pointing to those kinds of associations (e.g., discount buyers' clubs vs. mission-driven associations) that are most at risk from this trend?