Democratization, Personalization and Collaborative Consumption

Democratization, Personalization and Collaborative Consumption

From local transportation to space travel

From local transportation to space travel, from education to entertainment, every new age business ticks off at least two of the three boxes of Democratization, Personalization and Collaborative Consumption.

The dictionary defines these terms as follows:

  • Democratization: The action of making something accessible to everyone
  • Personalization: Design something to meet someone's individual requirements, including convenience and superior customer experience
  • Collaborative Consumption: The reinvention of traditional market behaviors like renting, lending through technology, taking place in ways and on a scale not possible before the internet. (Thanks Rachel for this wonderful definition)


Everyone knows about UBER’s uber-success worldwide. Their growth has been staggering. Why so? Taxis were always democratized. That’s not the reason for its astounding growth. UBER, Lyft and OLA brought to the taxi business the factor of personalization. Flagging a taxi down to your exact location and reaching the location just in time as the taxi arrives, tracking the route through to destination and being able to simply walk away after reaching the destination with your credit card or e-wallet automatically charged – that’s convenience and superior customer experience. This is what made UBER successfully transcend from a noun to a verb.

On the driver side of the equation, anyone with a car can register it as a taxi and partner with UBER. Although the car to passenger ratio will follow the demand-supply economics, the model will survive and thrive. A lot of people have postponed or given-up altogether on their decision to buy their own car, particularly in large cities. It doesn’t make sense to acquire a depreciating asset, fuel-it, maintain it, worry about parking, traffic and worst of all, denting it in a fender- bender. So, they say, “Ditch it! I will simply UBER today.”

Well, what if people want to take a car on a weekend get-away. There’s UBER for that too. But if you need a self-drive version, you can always rent from Zoom Car, which by the way has smartly managed to acquire their fleet by having members of public invest in the car and sharing revenue with them.

Consider Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, EROS Now, Hulu, etc. The future of visual entertainment is streaming because it checks-off all three parameters. It democratizes content consumption because everyone can watch local, national and international content on even 2 their smartphone in exchange for a small subscription fee. It is personalized because the variety in their offering is so wide that there is something in there for everyone. There is collaborative consumption because the small subscription fee makes direct-to- consumer content delivery possible. Every mainstream network and production company, even in India, has division that works on content purely for digital platforms like their YouTube channel. What’s more! Brad Pitt’s War Machine was made only to be released on Netflix platform.

On one side of the visual entertainment equation are all these content creators. The other side of the equation is the content consumers. There’s not much happening in that space. Let me explain: For regular movies, there’s multiplexes. But for streaming content, the currently available options are regular devices of varying form factors, TVs, larger TVs connected a home theater system – one becoming more expensive than the previous in that order. There already is democratization for content consumption – everyone has access to multiplex and to one or more devices.

But personalization? What if I want to experience Breaking Bad in an IMAX kind of environment? What if I want to watch a movie, say Avatar or Interstellar, that is not playing on any multiplex, but I want to experience it in a multiplex-like environment? That’s presently not possible, unless you are rich-enough to invest in your own personal home theater auditorium with proper acoustics, DOLBY Atmos sound system, Full HD projection system.

However, I recently came across this new start up called TERIFLIX (www.teriflix.com) that I think might be on to introducing personalization via collaborative consumption.

TERIFLIX offers a mini-IMAX like theater infrastructure (135” screen, Full HD projection, 7.2.4 Dolby Atmos, proper acoustics) with lounge included, on hourly rent to watch any content from your Netflix account. The mini theater has 13 seats capacity with room to accommodate 3 additional bean bags. TERIFLIX rental includes the theater and its adjoining lounge, privately for yourself. When you arrive at TERIFLIX, you will need to sign-in with your own Netflix account, watch any content you want, for as long as you want and take a break whenever you want.

This is personalization (blend of the best of home and multiplex environments) enabled through collaborative consumption (hourly rentals) in the content consumption space.

Oh! And by the way…their FAQ page states that they have just started with Netflix and they will expand to other streaming providers soon.

Also, I figured that you can bring your own popcorn and food. Forget everything else, for me, bringing my own food is the real deal; saves me a truckload of money from all the overpriced popcorn sold at the movies!

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