4. A technology business can't thrive without a human touch.
Technology simplifies many of life's chores, but focus too much on simplicity and you may lose sight of the fact that consumers are living, breathing people who respond to colorful images, clever design and good old-fashioned marketing.
Some of my favorite online marketplaces are ones that have a human touch. Kickstarter, for example, is not only "the world's largest funding platform for creative projects," it's also a creative project in its own right, artfully curated in a way that draws in potential funders and keeps them on the site long enough to discover compelling new projects. Kitchensurfing is another site that works well, because it has taken great care with visuals: alluring photos of the fine cuisine that a chef will prepare at your own home.
Real-world lessons are critical, and we're working to incorporate them into our digital marketplace, which helps investors find investment managers. If you're an investor in markets with a high level of fragmentation and where there's a benefit to price and value comparisons, keep an eye out for emerging digital marketplaces. Watch out for ones with a delightful design and great tools for finding just what is needed. Those are the ones that can remake an entire industry.
—By Asheesh Advani, CEO of Covestor and member of the CNBC-YPO Chief Executive Network
CNBC and YPO (Young Presidents' Organization) have an exclusive editorial partnership. It consists of regional chief executive networks in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific. These networks are made up of a sample of YPO's unrivaled global network of 20,000 top executives from 120 countries who are on the front lines of the economy. The opinions of Chief Executive Network members are solely their own and do not reflect the opinions of YPO as a whole or CNBC.