Page 22

PA LO A LTO

Co-Working Spaces THE SHARING ECONOMY In the heart of Silicon Valley – a place that is home to some of the world’s most creative innovators and entrepreneurs – the shared economy has opened its doors to a brand new marketplace. One of those innovators is Vibhu Norby, co-founder and CEO at b8ta, a software-powered retail showroom for Internet of Things (IoT) products. Norby and the founders of b8ta noticed a retail world where big, hardware product brands with the most dollars were keeping out small upstarts. They identified this problem and then created a strategy to solve it. “To me, the shared economy is ultimately about fixing inequality in markets. Where there is inequality — whether created by law or culture or history — marketplaces are arising on the Internet and in the offline world that are fundamentally changing how we live,” Norby said. b8ta is one of those marketplaces. As the first of its kind, this Palo Alto-based retail showroom displays and sells a range of IoT products. According to Norby, products generally fall into one of four categories: connected home, electric transportation, smart toys, and sensory augmentation devices. Most of the products are also sold online and many, prior to b8ta, were exclusively available through ecommerce channels. But Norby understands that with emerging technologies and IoT products, consumers want to try what they’re buying before they decide to purchase. “Everything in b8ta is featured out-of-box and can be demoed by customers. Our b8ta testers are on-site to answer the most difficult questions,” Norby said.

Since opening in December 2015, b8ta has enjoyed immediate success. “The response has been tremendous. Customers engage with tens of thousands of products a week in our store,” Norby added. “We get visitors from across the globe who want to see what the future looks like.” After a simple online sign-up process, b8ta evaluates each product before accepting to display them in its showroom. “Once a company has signed up, they send us a demo product or sit down with us. If a product checks out, we offer space for a couple weeks in the store. As products succeed, we allow them to stay longer with us. If they don’t, we fill the space with something new,” Norby said. “The process is designed to bring in new products consistently, but also ensure that the quality stays high over time. We aim to introduce four to five new products twice a month, so that each time visitors come in, they discover something new.” There may be large retailers that offer showrooms for their product line but b8ta is unique in that it offers space to new products from both big and small companies and treats them equally. “There’s no other store like this in the entire world. b8ta is the only software-powered retailer, and many of the products we showcase aren’t available anywhere else,” Norby added. The emergence of the shared economy has impacted transportation, product delivery, work spaces, vacation rentals, and more. At b8ta, it has also opened up a marketplace to products not typically found offline with the hope of changing how physical retail works for both manufacturers and consumers. ◆

Business Resources Flexible, on-demand & coworking workspace Palo Alto Sandbox Suites 3505 El Camino Real | (415) 659-8197 www.sandboxsuites.com Davinci Virtual Office Solutions 2225 E. Bayshore Rd., Ste. 200 (800) 863-3423 www.davincivirtual.com Enerspace Coworking Palo Alto 2225 E Bayshore Rd., Ste. 100 (650) 320-1770 www.enerspacecoworking.com/ locations/palo-alto

22 |

Pacific Workplaces 2225 E. Bayshore Rd., Suite 200 (650) 320-7600 https://pacificworkplaces.com/ locations/palo-alto-office-space Regus Palo Alto 228 Hamilton Ave. | (650) 798-5000 www.regus.com

World Wide Instant Offices 540 University Ave. | (650) 328-0100 worldwideinstantoffices.com Breather 526 Bryant Street, #5 | (800) 471-8704 www.breather.com Breather 675 High Street, #3 | (800) 471-8704 www.breather.com

Regus Palo Alto 530 Lytton Ave. | (650) 617-3200 www.regus.com

Menlo Park

HanaHaus, New Varsity Theatre 456 University Ave. | (650) 326-1263 http://hanahaus.com

The Pad, Silicon Valley 1370 Willow Rd. | (650) 276-0536 http://siliconvalleypad.com

Nordic Innovation House 470 Ramona St. | (650) 325-5500 www.nordicinnovationhouse.com

BootUp World 68 Willow Rd. | (800) 493-1945 www.bootupworld.com

Pacific Touchdown 4040 Campbell Ave, #120 (650) 577- 2367 www.pbcoffices.com/services/ coworking.html

Mountain View Design Spaces 1045 Linda Vista Ave. | (650) 8621467 www.designspaces.com Hacker Dojo 599 Fairchild Dr. | (650) 989-7925 www.hackerdojo.com Regus Mountain View 800 W. El Camino Real #180 (650) 962-0888 www.regus.com

PA L O A L T O C O M M U N I T Y G U I D E

CAPAACW16design.indd 22

6/27/2016 12:03:51 PM

Palo Alto CA Chamber Profile  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you