In a Age of Convenience, the Middleman is Running the Show

Benny Attar
3 min readMar 15, 2021

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How is it possible that the world’s biggest taxi service in the world doesn’t own a single car? Or the biggest movie provider in the world doesn’t own a single film? Or that everyone’s go-to for vacation hospitality doesn’t own a single property?

The underlying theme behind some of todays most well-respected and established growth companies isn’t their strong management team, successful implementation of capital, nor their loyal customer base. In my eye’s, startup’s success is largely due to their masterful ability to connect two groups involved in a transaction; a buyer and a supplier.

Uber, Netflix, and Airbnb — three legendary startups that have withstood the test of time and constant shift in demand– all have one thing in common: they don’t own their product. Rather, they are the middleman for it, specializing linking a provider of their product to an interested buyer. However, this “connector” idea isn’t as new as most perceive it to be. Modern innovation has introduced brokerages, flight booking websites, food delivery apps, and online retailers not owning a single product (such as Ebay!). What is the consistent idea makes these startups so successful? Consumer feasibility.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Putting “consumer feasibility” into effect is much easier done than many deem it to be. I choose to define it “how efficiently (weighing in cost, time, accessibility, etc.) an individual can purchase a good or a service.” The definition is simple, but the implementation is extraordinarily difficult. By connecting customers to businesses, a middleman essentially creates a “free-market” of their own on their platform. A quick look at any connector platform exemplifies the laws of supply and demand in full force, in some companies clearer than others. What sets the bigger companies from their smaller counterparts is how well they apply these rules into their individual free market.

In a day and age where people are both impatient and more selective of where they spend their money, middleman companies are filling in the gap between the product and its destination, effectively eliminating the many onerous constraints, such as capital and time.

5.0 (Cinq Point Zero), an Israeli firm connecting startups with investors all around the world, perfectly executed the connector idea and successfully achieved their goal of facilitating funding for Israel’s most-promising startups. Rather than investing in or incubating companies themselves, they create meaningful connections for the ecosystem to thrive. Since networking is such a delicate and important maneuver, 5.0 conducts in-depth due diligence prior to every introduction made between each startup and investor. Vis-a-vis today’s biggest startups, 5.0 eliminates the stress in finding a suitable “business partner.” Their precision in helping entrepreneurs achieve their impactful visions and facilitate investors do what they do best is what makes the future’s next-gen products come into existence.

How can an everyday person benefit from the new age as a middleman? My suggestion: understand which markets you can best thrive in, think outside the box, and start connecting!

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