Pupa markets?

In the late 1990s as B2B exchanges proliferated wildly, we saw the term “butterfly market” gain immense popularity; it was used to describe a market where very large numbers of buyers and sellers congregated.

Ross Mayfield pointed me at a very interesting paper on How Not to Build an Online Market, well worth a read. You can follow the links from Ross’s post on the subject, to be found here.

There were large numbers of buyers and of sellers, but they weren’t buying or selling large numbers of the same thing.

If there was anything they had in common, it was trust. If there was anything to keep them together, it was trust. They related to each other.

So a butterfly market was in itself an aggregation of narrower smaller markets, an aggregation of relationships and conversations. Not one market but many. And any attempt to make one homogeneous market out of them failed.

Let me know what you think

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