Sharing is caring, and a bit disruptive

The sharing economy (sometimes referred to as the peer-to-peer, mesh, or the collaborative economy) is a socio-economic system built around the sharing of human and physical resources. It includes the shared creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services by different people and organisations.

Also referred to as collaborative consumption, it is a class of economic arrangements in which participants share access to products or services, rather than having individual ownership. Collaborative consumption startups use the internet and social media to facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges, allowing people to share assets and services directly with those who require them.

One of the poster children of a movement is Airbnb (www.airbnb.com). Most of you will know of Airbnb, but for those that don’t. They match people who have a place or space to rent (and that could be literally anything from treehouses, to a spare room, to holiday homes to an igloo) with people looking for a place to stay. I had pleasure of experiencing the sharing ecomony last January, when – booked via Airbnb – I stayed in a gorgeous three bedroom apartment in the heart of Barcelona for two nights for a grand sum of 95 euros. Amazing!

This emerging sharing economy also includes online marketplaces like the well known eBay and Gumtree, and prevalent car sharing services like GoGet, Many more startups focusing on diverse products and services are operating in Australia. Here are a some lists of both collaborative consumption business, here in Australia and globally:

http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/directory/

http://chrisriedy.me/collaborative-consumption-in-australia/

For a quick taste, here are just a few Australian examples of the sharing economy worth noting:

Car Next Door (http://www.carnextdoor.com.au) is a new way to car share in Sydney and Melbourne. It’s Australia’s first neighbour-to-neighbour (or “peer-to-peer”) car sharing network.

Pozible (http://www.pozible.com)is a crowdfunding creative projects and ideaswas designed to help people raise funds, realise their aspirations, and make great things possible.

Airtasker (https://www.airtasker.com) is a trusted community marketplace for people to outsource tasks, find local services or complete flexible jobs to earn money – online or via mobile.

Coseats (http://www.coseats.com) is a ride sharing portal for people travelling around Australia.

The emergent sharing economy is a potential threat to those established business models. However, if consumers are sharing things they already have, then they don’t need to buy something new or at least, they don’t need to buy so often. I like this form of straightforward disruption.

It would be great to read your experiences of the sharing economy.

Thanks for reading.

Kai

(a fair bit of text has been referenced from http://theconversation.com/the-sharing-economy-spooking-big-business-19541 – a great article)

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