From hospitality to transportation – the sharing economy has had a huge impact on many industries. Now, a lot of consumers use the likes of Uber and Airbnb before even considering traditional taxis or hotels. Read more…
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Before it had a name and became a cutting-edge concept, the sharing economy had outposts in the American economy. Carpooling, for instance, has long been a way of sharing both the cost of commuting and leveraging an expensive asset — the private automobile (which sits idle more than 90% of the time).
Few observers in the last few decades recognized carpooling as a vanguard phenomenon, but that’s what it was. The same basic concept, technologically assisted, has been applied to nearly every aspect of modern life. And it’s enabled cost savings, convenience and environmental benefits on a large scale.
As a result, the peer-to-peer story is one of stellar growth. From modest roots, the international sharing economy reached about $15 billion in 2014, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and it is on track to reach $335 billion by 2025. Public opt-in to the collaborative economy almost doubled from 2013 to 2014. An AGC Partners report said that investors committed $4.93 billion to 71 deals related to the sharing economy in 2014, up five times from 2013.
“The success of Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit isn’t a fad — it’s a new way of doing business,” PwC said.
The two essentials are lumpiness and technology. In a groundbreaking paper, “Sharing Nicely: On Shareable Goods and the Emergence of Sharing as a Modality of Economic Production” (Yale Law Journal, 2004), Yochai Benkler, an entrepreneurial legal studies professor at Harvard, used carpooling as an example of large-scale sharing of private goods. Cars, he pointed out, are “lumpy” goods, that is, they have to be purchased in units that exceed the buyer’s immediate needs. People invest in such goods when the lifetime value of the item is greater than its price (loans and leases, of course, help bend the cost curve to match the long period during which expensive items offer value).
At least until recently, car buyers haven’t worried about the excess capacity they were purchasing, as long as the lifetime value of the vehicle was greater for them than its lifetime cost. But the reality is that all that time the private automobile sits idle, economic value is going unrealized. And cars are by no means alone in their lumpiness. Houses, apartments, offices, bikes, computers, clothes, books, toys — all represent goods that individuals buy for their own use, but which bring with them a good deal of excess capacity. And don’t forget physical and intellectual labor: A handyman’s ability to fix things goes unused much of the time, as does an engineer’s ability to design solutions to specific problems.
“In the collaborative economy it’s not the idea of sharing that’s new… What’s different now is the introduction of technology into the concept.” — H.O. Maycotte, Umbel
Read all (Sourced through Scoop.it) from: knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu
Bicycles are standing in a row at a “bike mi” bike sharing stand.
In just a few years, the sharing (or access or gig) economy is already casting a shadow over numerous industries.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: sloanreview.mit.edu