Ellie Howard


I have found it helpful to sort approaches to solving problems of abundance into five loose buckets:

1. Intent-led solutions 

Solutions that are anchored around some shared intent, either the act of searching (as a horizontal solution, e.g. Snapshot), or the item being searched for (as an aggregator / concierge, e.g. Mida

Read: Context-driven search / operationalising trust

2. Category-led solutions

Solutions that are anchored around a category / product niche, and involve some service layer / personalisation of the product offering in order to drive retention and 'mine the depths' of the market; typically seen in areas where the product is 'unfinished' without human skill (E.g Bleach, Modular-beauty brand)

Read: Brands as a service

3. Context-led solutions

Solutions that are anchored around some shared constraints, tastes or interests, e.g. Vertical / Social-booking app

Read: Verticals of people

4. Infrastructure-led solutions

Solutions that remove the need for brands to scale so rapidly, or flip the supply and demand relationship altogether such that demand informs supply, typically seen where customer base is price sensitive or supply offers some product differentiation that makes the item more relevant (e.g. Nuanced

Read: Recurring revenue as an asset class Consumer to manufacture 

5. Legibility-led solutions

Solutions that make effort, loyalty or persistence 'legible' in order to better match demand to supply; usually seen in cases where additional monetary exchange is unattractive but credentials are needed (e.g. Prove)

Read: Proof of work

Using Format