By Marco Abele and Oliver Bussmann
There is no doubt that we are living through a period of rapid and exhilarating change, much of it driven by technology.
Over the past 20 years we have seen advances in networking and telecommunications completely reshape how we exchange information and communicate with each other. Now new breakthroughs – in particular blockchain and the related technologies of decentralization – are giving birth to radically new paradigms for the way we transact and trust each other.
These changes are appearing hand-in-hand with new developments in society. In a world where technology facilitates almost endless choice, for instance, we find more and more people preferring flexibility to fixed structures. In a world where technology makes it easy to purchase almost any item, people are starting to place more value on experience and personal development than the accumulation of material objects. With almost limitless access to information, people increasingly value the understanding and appreciation of a fine object – true connoisseurship – over its mere possession. And with so much to experience and learn, time naturally becomes the ultimate luxury.
Yet while these new needs are arising, the infrastructure to cater to them is in many cases either still nascent or completely missing – particularly for successful, affluent individuals who are looking to invest in their passions, yet want to avoid being tied down by the traditional structures of ownership.
At least until now.
Our vision is to use cutting-edge technologies to enable people to explore their passions through a new paradigm of co-investment and co-enjoyment of high-value, highly meaningful assets – like art, classic cars, luxury watches, fine wine – while at the same time offering them an opportunity to earn a financial return.
While this may sound like a variant of the sharing economy, it really is much more – something in our opinion the world has not seen before.
For one, TEND users do not just invest in an asset, they also buy into an associated experience. The way we conceive it, on the TEND platform co-ownership of a Picasso would come with private showings for friends and family and the insights of an art expert. An investment in a Steinway piano would include a command performance by a great pianist, concert tickets and invitations to rehearsals. TEND users would not only co-invest in a classic Porsche, but in one month of personal use, time on a track, and the services of a trained mechanic. They would not buy one luxury Swiss watch, but instead invest in a collection of them, with the right to wear a different, magnificent timepiece each season of the year.
For another, we do all the work of tending to the asset, whether it is storage, maintenance, security, or transport. We also provide a full concierge service for the co-owners to handle the scheduling of its use, or the providing of information, or any other topics that may arise. On TEND, co-investment means getting the full enjoyment of an asset, without the worries of ownership.
Last but not least, the opportunities on TEND are real investments. Through tokenization of these assets and experiences on a blockchain, a co-investor has not one but two avenues of potential gain. Since the value of the token is tied to the underlying value of the asset, it will rise should the asset go up in value. Since tokens are tradeable on the TEND platform, their value can also rise if the demand for a particular asset and/or experience on the platform rises. Once sold, the return can then be realized or reinvested in a new asset and experience, and a new adventure.
The ability to create a new kind of marketplace for these high-value, highly meaningful assets is a perfect example of the new paradigms that the technologies we are using for TEND enable. These include above all blockchain and smart contracts, which through tokenization provide a trustworthy and efficient means to create fractional ownership with fully transparent, unambiguous structures – ownership which is easily transferable and so highly tradeable.
While such things may have been possible, if difficult, to do previously, it is only with this new technology that we can efficiently and safely build such a platform at scale, and create a complete, secure, trustworthy and flexible user experience.
We are convinced that TEND is the right platform at the right time.
The world is changing, new possibilities are arising. People today are looking for value and meaning. At TEND, we offer them a platform for finding both.
Bussmann Advisory helps C-suite executives, entrepreneurs and decision makers stay ahead of the digital disruption curve. With a client base covering top-tier banks, leading blockchain startups, global consultancies and other firms facing disruption, as well as strong connections in the global FinTech community, the Bussmann Advisory team is close to the pulse of the rapid changes facing industry. It provides thought leadership and advisory services above all in digital transformation, innovation orchestration, and business model re-creation. Please note that Oliver Bussmann is a Strategic Advisor to Tend Technologies.