One of the great promises of the internet for small businesses was that it was going to eliminate the “middle man” – intermediaries between sellers and customers. Manufacturers could sell directly to end users instead of stores; retailers could stay in touch with customers frequently.
All that is true – but what is also true is that the internet created a new kind of intermediary: platforms.
You almost certainly already use platforms – at least as a customer. There’s Amazon for goods, Doordash or Postmates for food deliveries, Uber or Lyft for rides, Upwork or TaskRabbit for small jobs.