Nikhil, a friend of mine at work, pens this thoughtful post on his blog Socially Inclined. It is so fresh, I wish I had written it.
Information asymmetry: A situation when one party has more or superior information compared to another party or parties.
Remember when, in the not too distant past, you had no idea what your neighbor’s house cost? Or when you were scoping out an area, the only guide was a local real-estate agent? Today we have Zillow, which single-handedly when it launched removed information asymmetry from the real-estate market. This data used to be available with the County government but Zillow made it accessible to everyone via a seamless interface and then allowed people to add qualitative data on top resulting in price vectors and indicators (e.g. make me move).
Remember when we discovered restaurants by just walking in? or by asking friends? Today we have Yelp, which pretty much can tell you almost everything about a restaurant and user opinions about the food there. Next step is to take it further to answer the question “What’s good here?” and DishOnIt, which brings the wisdom of the crowds to the dish level helps one figure that out. So one can ask the question: Where can I find the best Chicken Tikka Masala in town? Or a Cheeseburger? (Disclosure: DishOnIt is my wife’s new startup).