Sunday, 20 December 2015

Masih Layakkah Go-Jek Menggadang-gadang Ekonomi Kerakyatan ketika Investasi Asing ada dibalik Startup Mereka?

First of all, I want to stress to the fact that this isn't a hate speech at all. Saya merupakan salah satu pengguna jasa Go-Jek walaupun termasuk konsumen baru; hanya untuk 1-2 bulan terakhir ini. Menurut saya kemunculan Go-Jek amatlah membantu baik itu dari kacamata customers maupun drivers nya, terlepas dari kontroversi antara Go-Jek dan ojek konvensional, berbagai keluhan aplikasi Go-Jek terutama di awal-awal peluncuran aplikasi Go-Jek, dan masih banyak kasus lagi. Jadi, dari segi pemanfaatan jasa, saya sepenuhnya mendukung ojek dan moda sarana transportasi berbasis online.

Pada tanggal 18 Desember 2015 Kemenhub melarang Go-Jek dan startup ojek online lainnya untuk beroperasi karena alasan keselamatan penumpang, namun tak lama kemudian Presiden Jokowi sendiri lah yang turun tangan meminta Kemenhub mencabut larangan dikarenakan moda transportasi ojek telah diterima dan telah menjadi bagian dari opsi transportasi yang dibutuhkan oleh rakyat Indonesia. Permintaan Presiden Jokowi tentunya disertai dengan berbagai ketentuan yaitu poin-poin tertentu untuk meregulasi operasi ojek online supaya teratur. 

Yang membuat saya "gatal" ingin membuat postingan ini hanya karena statement dari CEO dan Co-Founder Go-Jek, Nadiem Makarim via jejaring sosial facebook tak lama setelah pencabutan larangan operasi Go-Jek dan ojek online lainnya, dimana ia berterima kasih atas kebijakan Presiden Jokowi sembari menyatakan bahwasanya startup Go-Jek merupakan startup berbasis ekonomi kerakyatan yang patut dibela. Hal itu terdengar janggal bagi segelintir orang yang mengetahui fakta dimana Go-Jek menerima dana investasi asing (bukan berarti menerima modal asing itu hal yang buruk, lho). Go-Jek memang dinilai kurang transparan mengenai siapa saja investornya entah apa itu motifnya. FYI, di dalam bisnis startup merupakan hal yang amat sangat lazim untuk menerima dan/atau mengirim proposal kepada perusahaan investor karena bagaimanapun bagi startup company proses R&D, marketing, dan lain sebagainya pastilah membutuhkan dana yang tidak sedikit. Jika ingin berbaik sangka, mungkin yang dimaksud Go-Jek berbasis ekonomi kerakyatan oleh Nadiem adalah Go-Jek sebagai startup hasil karya anak bangsa Indonesia, yang mengkaryakan sumber daya manusia Indonesia, yang digunakan dan dimanfaatkan oleh konsumen yakni rakyat Indonesia itu sendiri. 

CMIIW--tak perlu bertameng pada label atau atribut yang berbau kerakyatan hanya untuk meraup dukungan mayoritas. Selama karya anak bangsa Indonesia bermanfaat dan tidak merugikan pihak manapun termasuk Indonesia, tidak ada salahnya untuk didukung. 

P.S. sorry for the indecent picture design, I have to make it on my phone since I dont have photo editor software

Friday, 24 July 2015

Will Sharing Economy Ended Up Like Another Capitalism?

These days, the sharing economy phenomenon is escalating across the globe. Feel unfamiliar with the term? What about Uber, Airbnb, Etsy, or perhaps the infamous Indonesia based startup GO-JEK? Those are the well-known examples of sharing economy practice. This article will not be able to accommodate a comprehensive explanation about sharing economy; however, I hope readers will be able to conclude the essential points from my page. Benita Matofska, a worldwide expert on the sharing economy, defined the sharing economy as a socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human and physical resources which includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organizations. Sharing economy is also known as collaborative consumption which can be categorized into three types of systems as stated by Rachel Bostman, a collaborative economy expert. First, Product Service Systems. Share or rent goods which are privately owned via peer-to-peer marketplaces. Consumers are paying for the benefit, instead of the product. For example: Zipcar, a car sharing service. Second, Redistribution Markets. A collaborative consumption system which is based on the recycle method. The used goods are being passed on to the new owner, in the same time; redistribution markets help the environment to reduce waste goods and also stretch the product life cycles. For example:, an online consignment service. Third, Collaborative Lifestyles. People who share similar needs or interests band together to share and exchange less-tangible assets such as time, space, skills, and money. For example: Airbnb, provider of unique accommodations around the world.

The concept of sharing (barter) itself had existed perhaps since our ancestors started to live in a community. Human exchanged goods and services long before we acknowledge the concept of money. However, the sharing economy has grown from a community practice into a profitable business model in these past years. Social technologies and people needs are triggering startups which enable the peer-to-peer exchanges through technology. eBay was the one who initiated online peer-to-peer model back in 1995, it has influenced many other peer-to-peer models that existed until now. Following eBay’s pathway, there are Craiglist in the late 1990s, Zipcar in 2000, Airbnb in 2007, and many more.

There are three main forces behind the rise of sharing economy businesses. First, Information Technology and social media; people and organizations are able to conduct a direct transaction without the friction of share based business and organizational models via smart phones, social media, and open data. Second, market instability; there are pressure for traditional manufacturers to operate without harming their production costs and projected expenditures. Sharing economy helps them to spread the best practices and increase beneficial collaborations. Third, sharing economy is highly profitable; the revenue flowing through the sharing economy is significantly growing. In 2013, the revenue growth exceeded 25%.

Another encouraging factor behind the sharing economy is because of economic dissatisfaction among the society. According to the American Psychological Association, in 2013, 73% of Americans claimed that they are financially insecure; 85% are concerning about their bills; and 25% claimed that they didn’t trust the companies they work for. The rise of peer-to-peer economy is useful for the part-time workers, the unemployed, stay-at-home parents, people within the job transitions, and other people who are not being able to take a full time job anymore.

Sharing economy allows people to take idle capital and turn them into revenue sources, as stated by Christopher Koopman, economist from George Mason University. Since people who owned excess goods can instantly become entrepreneurs, therefore, the increase of productivity, individual innovation, and entrepreneurship will stimulate the economic growth.  However, behind these positive impacts, there are some protests toward the peer-to-peer startups in several countries. These hype businesses have been debated whether it will destabilize the conventional jobs.

In the US, the Uber app has proven to provide the customers many advantages and lower prices compared with the conventional taxi cab dispatch system, resulting in high demand for ride services and drivers with certain skill set. However, there is an assumption that the jobs that offered flexibility to the independent workers provide no benefits and might lead to the exploitation of workers linked to the “zero hour contracts”. Make sense, since Uber, Lyft, and other ride sharing services startups didn’t have the same taxes and employee protection laws as the conventional taxi companies. In 2014, the New York State Attorney General stated that 72% of the Airbnb rentals are violating state zoning regulations or other laws. Even Berlin has banned regular short term rentals who didn’t own prior permission from the authorities. Paris has also passed a law for city inspectors to check rental homes who renting their houses illegally. Uber and Airbnb cases are just a glimpse of examples of the tension between the rising economy, the government, and the conventional businesses.

Since the friction is inevitable and it affects the economic activities in several countries, there should be a legally binding law that able to regulate these escalating businesses to minimize the friction all around the globe. Especially for the reason that some of the collaborative economy companies are reluctant to be regulated like other conventional corporations which caused the confusion in terms of types of taxes and other legal regulations they need to obey. There is also another concern about these sharing economy businesses which are suspected to drift away from its initial mission of this movement into the monopoly practice in a sharing economy industry, indicated with a billion US dollar Silicon Valley investments that boosted companies to scale at highly fast rates. The sharing economy industry is somehow potentially able to be the next traditional capitalism.

But what makes collaborative economy is so special for their customers? People, especially millennial are so into these whole collaborative economy things. It is because of the sense of belonging; they like being connected with another people who share similar interests. It is more than just sharing goods or services, they shared moments. Customers are also sensing a strong aspect of trust; without hesitation they are willing to share their rides, goods, rooms, and other services with total strangers. Some customers are even expecting to build a new connection with their new acquaintances. Collaborative economy is fast, easy, even cheaper, and anyone can participate in offering services or goods. Everything you need, you can reach them all via your smart phone and other social technologies. Thus, sharing economy is all good as long as the companies are running the sharing economy fairly, in line with prior policies, treating their employees and customers right, and helping the economic growth. 

Uber, Airbnb and consequences of the sharing economy: Research roundup
What is the Sharing Economy?
What Collaborative Consumption Means for Marketers
We-Commerce: The sharing economy's uncertain path to changing the world

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Detox Programs: Get Rid of Your Toxins or Your Money?

You know that feeling when you found out an eye opening fact about commonly accepted thing for a very long time such as ‘right-brained and left-brained individual is just a myth’? Crazy, huh? I used to struggle over the fact that I cannot categorize myself as a right or left brained individual. Part of me wants to be an artsy musical person meanwhile I also fancy languages but I hate math etc etc.  For those people who in disbelief about that brain myth perhaps I will catch up writing a post about that. However, this current post will elaborate about detox life. Yes, it’s a myth, too.

To avoid any vague argument I will stressed to the point that by detox, what I mean is the cleansing juice diet program that only limiting food consumption only into raw fruits and veggies, or fancy supplements, or certain treatments, and so on. You know, the diet that has been promoted by many celebrities, lifestyle advertising, commercial diet products and programs, and so on.

To make it clear, detoxification on medical term means the process to eliminate the accumulation of toxic substances inside the human body. The objective is to help fastening the recovery process of certain illnesses. According to Edzard Ernst, the emeritus professor of complementary medicine at Exeter University, there are two kinds of detox: the respectable detox for medical purpose and the one that has been used for marketing purpose. The real detoxification has a purpose to treat people with serious drug addiction problem since their body need to be highly intervened from substances. The other type of detox apparently has been used by entrepreneurs to sell you things for the sake of being healthy. They put the idea that our body has been intoxicated by many kinds of toxins from pollutants around us, and the way to get rid of them is by purifying your system by treatments and products they offered.

Sorry to tell you the fact, but mostly they are just being exploitative over the detox term. The detox idea that they are selling is just a pseudo-medical concept that being used for their profit. Human body is great, amazing, already perfect; healthy human body has a perfect excretory system: the liver, kidneys, skin, large intestines, lungs, etc. Naturally we need no help to get rid toxins out of our systems.

However, healthy people can still help their systems and boost its performance to its finest by fasting in an intermittent period. By fasting, your organs will be more focus to their job since there is no interruption from the foods you digested. This might bores you to death, but the only correct way to achieve your detox lifestyle is merely by exercising, eating a balance diet, not smoking and drinking, oh you know well what’s the rest.

Please note that I am not saying that your cleanse program will not help you to lose weight; I am not saying that green juices is not healthy. What I am trying to highlight is the commercial diet programs, books and products; whatever to make you ridiculously want a super clean body system (which is impossible), whatever that makes you spend extra money for fancy supplements, whatever that makes you being fooled by the irresponsible industries.

You can’t detox your body. It’s a myth. So how do you get healthy?
Can A Diet Clean Out Toxins In The Body?