From Sharing Economy further into the age of On-Demand Economy!
There is huge movement worldwide that many refer to as the sharing economy. Some say it is only a new phrase of the renting economy, others argue that this mega-trend in our society should be named as the collaborative economy, which is leaning itself against the connected society where we are depending more and more on our digital communities.
Transaction of power from the few to the many…
As always, we quickly find names for things we love before we find a common definition. One thing is absolutely clear — technology and the internet itself give us instant accessibility to the basic fundamentals in society, such as finance, learning and collaboration platforms and bring us into a new era of economic growth that is controlled and owned by the people instead of a few institutions.
Three trends bonfire the rapid development, 1) Tech is cheap and accessible for “everyone” and 2) as pointed out above, we can easily access and utilize every basic asset needed and 3) the fact of underused capacity in the market, both time wise and available assets.
Is the sharing economy only a rephrasing of renting?
Some people argue that the sharing economy is nothing else than a new buzzword for the rental economy. To some extent I can agree with this — nothing is for free — but what is more important and remarkable is that technology combined with people’s willingness to trust their communities challenges the established industries. It wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago, but now technology has truly become an enabler and simplifier of people’s life.
Uber is one of the most well known examples: skip the traditional taxis and pay for a ride with you neighbour in his or her own car. 10 years ago this setup was hard to implement. The underlying trend is that power shifts from the few to the many because of accessible and simplified technology and is disrupting old industries in many ways. And this is just the beginning.
Everything has moved to the internet
Think of this. We carry in our pockets as much computer power as one PC had in the early 2000s, we are connected digitally with friends and communities we care about. We can easily connect to almost anyone anywhere in the world. Even the capital market has moved to the internet thanks to crowdfunding. New financial ecosystems are on the rise that are totally independent from traditional banks or financial institutions. Suited for the connected society and adjustable to the needs of modern businesses, shared accounts, billing, accounting and invoicing at your fingertips.
Anyone can easily set up an online-store without any costs whatsoever. Cloud-based platforms for managing any kind of business is available, everything is there, on the internet and as we seem to trust our peers more than institutions, big changes are ahead for those who are not prepared for the collaborative economy that is blooming everywhere in the world.
New technology and a broad distribution on internet of every thinkable asset you might need has definitely changed the rules once and for all. Traditional gatekeepers do not any longer hold us back, we are free to create and grow ideas as never before relying on a new infrastructure — that is truly amazing!
From centralisation controlled by few to connected communities shared by many
As this new movement often called the sharing economy includes more than “sharing”, new companies are rising that bypass the traditional institutional systems which leads to an open market where communities are in control, not the few at the top of an institution like a bank. They are no longer gatekeepers and they don’t add any value into this new ecosystem and are therefore left outside, people set their trust in their connected communities instead. It will totally disrupt the infrastructure of how we manage a business and it makes new services available for the people.
As we get around the gatekeepers as banks and lenders, media companies, record companies and many more we all have the possibilities to do whatever we want to with very few) barriers — truly amazing. When our children grow up, they are not forced to educate themselves in a certain building, they will pick up the “parts” they want to from where they find the most relevant education. They will share a lot of assets, they will work independently in more or less controlled teams and most likely they will unleash their creativity and brand new ways throughout their communities. Looking forward to see it happen. (Read more about the working transformation.)
The power changes in society, from institutions to the people, the entrepreneurs, the ones with the passion to drive change. And it happens as the distribution of technology and accessible knowledge via internet gives people the knowledge they need and a lot of choices.
Bad or good news?
Whether the sharing economy is bad or good news depends on who you ask. The pessimists say it is increasing the gap between the ones “inside” the circle of needs and the ones who services those. They worry that everyone will be reduced to a lower status. An optimist like me sees the chance for people to create the life they want and set their own rules of how they want to work and where. Without any doubt it will be a bumpy ride and both camps will have their reasons to shout out their opinions until the change has reached the right level of maturity.
Personally, I am very excited about disruptive ideas and movements in our society. When technology empowers people build the lives they want to live without being restrained by old structures, I am convinced we are building a better future. Enjoy the ride!
If you want dig deeper into the world of “collaboration economy” I recommend you to read and follow Rachel Botsman who has an excellent blog about this topic. You find it here.
Go out there and build your ideas. We at Holvi will cheer you on all the way.
/Stefan Krafft — Marketer & Entrepreneur. Proud member of the Holvi-team.
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Originally published at blog.holvi.com on January 15, 2015.