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Unpacking Unbundling

Kai Lovel
Kai Lovel
1 min read

Have you ever heard of unbundling? It’s where you split something into smaller parts, and in the past few years, more and more startups have been the result of unbundling.

It’s really interesting to observe - and even better for coming up with new ideas.

In the tech world, unbundling is usually in the form of horizontal (broad) marketplaces being broken down into vertical (more specific) marketplaces. A fantastic example of this is the unbundling of Craigslist, a horizontal platform.

(Image credit - Andrew Parker)

In more recent times, there’s been the unbundling of Reddit, Inc., Yelp, Fiverr and more. Even Twitch (which originally unbundled YouTube) is having niches being carved out of it as well.

In an article by tech VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, they make the point that “these new businesses are not only bigger than the original vertical they disrupted, but often bigger than the platform as a whole.”

It’s a really interesting exercise to look at some horizontal platforms and see what’s not been unbundled yet...take a look. Investor Taylor Clauson suspects the next wave of unbundling will come from Amazon Web Services (AWS)‘s 170+ services. More reading here.

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