The Sharing Economy [PRESENTATION]
The Sharing Economy from Loic Le Meur
If there were an easy way to share your apartment or house with unknown but credible strangers while you were out of town, would you? How about sharing your office space, or your car? Your power tools? Your printer?
The number of people sharing their personal effects is increasing as individuals begin to own fewer things. In fact, in the past two years, 52% of Americans have rented, borrowed, or leased the kinds of items people commonly used to own. This phenomenon, called the “sharing economy,” uses new social networks to pool resources in open settings.
The recent recession has forced people to live within tighter budgets. Suddenly it makes more sense to borrow a car for occasional trips rather than own a car that sits in your driveway 360 days of the year. The same goes for tools and all manner of material things.
Concern for the environment is also leading people to share rather than own. More and more, we recognize the connection between what we buy and the planet’s finite resources. To conserve those resources, environmentally conscious consumers aim to limit their purchases; they look to borrow and, in turn, they loan what they do own to others.
And one more reason for sharing stands out: We’ve grown tired of clutter in our living spaces, and in this economy self-storage is no longer a viable option. Why take up valuable space in your home office with a printer when places nearby offer high-quality printing services for a small fee or even for free?
Technology Makes Sharing Easy
New technologies, including social networks, make sharing easy by enabling connections between strangers in the same locales.
BlaBlaCar Ride Sharing
You may not know the doctor who lives two blocks down, but with new services like BlaBlaCar you can now connect with her for a ride to to work.
Amanda Palmer Funds Album With Kickstarter Campaign
Crowdsourcing funds for new projects was kick-started (pardon my pun) by Kickstarter in April 2009. On the site, users are able to donate money to artists, entrepreneurs, and social do-gooders for projects they want to see made a reality.
TaskRabbit: A Marketplace for Your To-Do List
Have a minor task to finish but no time to get it done? TaskRabbit allows you to enlist reliable help from background-checked strangers. Grocery shopping or finishing returns and exchanges are no longer a burden during our workdays or precious free time.
Why Should You Care About the Sharing Economy?
The sharing economy is changing the way companies produce goods and interact with customers. As the sharing economy forces companies to design products to last, you’ll find fewer flimsy products on the shelves. Plus, sharing and consuming with a conscience will help us preserve the planet. Large brands like Adobe and Coca Cola are already crowd-sourcing design ideas as they look to produce products their fans will truly love.
Participants of the sharing economy are always looking for new and better ways to share ideas and spend less. Share with us below ways in which you participate in the new economy.