More than 30 years ago, one of the first stories I reported on in the electronics industry was a startup whose founder wanted to create a marketplace for electronics components.
Called FastParts, the idea was based loosely on the US stock exchange. Sellers of excess parts could come together with buyers, and FastParts would act as the intermediary — much like the NYSE — providing a trusted guarantor of one company’s inventory and another company’s monies.
Depending on your perspective, founder Gerry Haller was either ahead of his time, or a solution in search of a problem. FastParts never panned out, but over the years we’ve seen several other companies attempt the same thing.
Today, the supply chain has rebounded more or less back in balance after the Covid shortages. In fact, there’s probably more inventory than buyers right now. Right on queue, another startup has entered the fray, offering safe harbor for buyers and sellers.
I’m not entirely sure what separates BidChip, the latest entrant, from its predecessors. But I do know this: Sooner or later, Amazon will recognize that the electronics components industry is one of the largest in the world and jump in with its both of its very oversized feet. And when that happens, will any of the others be left upright?