I own a small collection of Air Jordan’s. I bought most of them in the resell market, which is projected to become a $6 billion business globally by 2025, according to a recent analysis from Cowen & Co.. So, providing authentic sneakers to people like me is a big business!
The sneaker resell market has always existed, but demand for sneakers has been driven by a combination of factors:
- the blending of pop culture with sports;
- turning sneakers into lifestyle items;
- social media.
Sneakers sold on the resell market can be 2x to 5x more expensive than retail. And people who are motivated to pay have to feel safe they you won’t get fakes. And there are fakes; many of them.
Which begs the question: what do the sneaker marketplaces do to make a customer feel at ease buying premium sneakers online?
Companies such as Stadium Goods, GOAT and StockX have developed their own proprietary authentication process to impede fakes from getting to their customers hands. In doing so they’ve created a new career path: sneaker authentication.
Remember, this is a growing industry. It was a niche before. And new career paths arise as industries grow and expand in a particular niche. Authenticators are now a key piece in the puzzle of a company’s ability to deliver value and keep its promise to its customers.
Technology has always displaced jobs. But it has also created new ones. New jobs are not necessarily born from technology, they’re born from human needs; technology is just a tool. It will be very hard, and will take a lot of time, for a robot to do a job that requires human judgment.
In the Next Economy new career paths are waiting to be unearthed, created and redefined.