Why are middlemen a persistent presence in our lives? What do they do, exactly? And how can good middlemen overcome our prejudices and distinguish themselves from their parasitic or two-faced namesakes?
In The Middleman Economy, Silicon Valley-based reporter Marina Krakovsky identifies and elucidates the six key roles that middlemen play. Drawing on eye-opening research from many fields — economics, sociology, psychology — and integrating it with profiles of some of the most admirable middlemen in the world, Krakovsky shows that the key to being an effective middleman is understanding each of the six roles and learning how to execute them for the benefit of buyers and sellers alike.
Packed with real-world examples—from sports agents and wedding planners to Silicon Valley’s hottest startups—The Middleman Economy shows you how you can be a more useful and effective middleman, even you’d never thought of yourself as a middleman at all.
Praise for the Book
“Like many people, you may be a middleman without even realizing it. Marina Krakovsky explains how the best make themselves indispensable: as a merchant of information, she has gone far and wide to bring you the goods.” —Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior Vice President at Google and co-author of How Google Works
“We often think of a middleman as someone to avoid—the person who stands in the way, or does nothing at all. But the truth is that the person in the middle, whether it’s a venture capitalist or a real estate broker, can create great value: and the best middlemen are true partners who make you a lot of money. The Middleman Economy shows you how.” —Barbara Corcoran, Founder, The Corcoran Group
“In The Middleman Economy, Krakovsky has crafted a powerfully persuasive counterpoint to the notion that in today’s society, middlemen are obsolete. Her captivating and well-researched narrative will convince you of just the opposite—that middlemen are even more critical to today’s economic and social order, whether they function as Bridges, Enforcers, Certifiers, Risk Bearers, Concierges, or Insulators. And they…are us.” —Margaret A. Neale, Professor of Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and co-author of Getting (More of) What You Want
“Although technology has brought us to a more interconnected world, Marina Krakovsky, with captivating examples, brilliantly describes the irreplaceable role of the middleman in a successful economy.” —Bill Draper, General Partner of Draper Richards L.P., and author of The Startup Game
“Krakovsky reveals a riveting truth: we are all middlemen. Her captivating examples and precise typology capture the vast reach and diversity of middlemen in every aspect of our lives. But most importantly, The Middleman Economy provides the necessary tools to avoid predators and parasites and find the partners that will lubricate and accelerate our success in life.” —Adam Galinsky, Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and co-author of Friend & Foe
“With sound reasoning and hard evidence, Krakovsky exploded my belief that the rise of the Internet spells the demise of the intermediary. In the process, she’s provided me, and all of us, a great service.” —Robert B. Cialdini, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, bestselling author, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
Together with economist Kay-Yut Chen, Marina Krakovsky co-wrote Secrets of the Moneylab: How Behavioral Economics Can Improve Your Business (Portfolio/Penguin, 2010).