Yahoo! has one. Facebook has one. Yelp has one (more detail below). Even TripAdvisor is starting to get in on the action. What am I talking about? APIs, or “Application Programming Interfaces”. In laymen’s terms, the tools that developers use to display other people’s content on their website or app. Or, to put it the way The Economist does, the digital tool that has exploded in recent years and may affect how technology is used in the future.
One of the most beautiful things about a free market is when people try to find innovative ways to take other people’s money. This can be done by introduction of a new product or service, or the re-purposing of an existing good. Sometimes, one doesn’t even have to do anything to bring in a new source of revenue.
On Monday, The Idiot Economist gave a brief overview of the business model that IKEA, the Swedish self-assembled furniture giant, uses. Not having to build their furniture before they sell it is one way to cut down on manufacturing and shipping costs; they pass these savings on to you, the consumer, in the form of lower prices. However, another way to get furniture for cheaper than average retail prices or even for free is to get it used. And what better place to get used furniture than CraigsList.
Depending on your point of view, there is a special place in either Heaven or Hell for Ingvar Kamprad, founder of the massive furniture chain: IKEA. IKEA is your one-stop-shop location for chairs, desks, beds, cabinets, dressers, tables, and more, all for surprisingly low prices. The catch? You have to build it all yourself.