One thing is clear these days, the sharing economy is more than a trend. Experts estimate the value of the sharing economy at upwards of $110 billion, and it’s growing at hyper pace. The sharing economy is upon us and its implications for business, governments and consumers will be far ranging and far reaching. The sharing economy is just another technology driven, sizematic shift that we will see across the globe which will rewrite how we live work and interact.
AirBnB is sending shockwaves throughout the hotel and tourism industries. (Souced from www.airbnb.com)
Even though the sharing economy is relatively new, there is an army of technology start-ups working hard at creating platforms where a suppler and a customer can engage. From ride-sharing to short term accommodation-sharing businesses to task sharing company Task Rabbit, we are only seeing the beginning of what will be another techno-transformation of brands and industries that have remained unchanged for the last 100+ years.
So if you think that with this new wave of change you won’t be affected, think again. Social sharing is all about providing a platform for an industry that connects buyers and sellers in a safe and secure manner, cutting out the intermediaries that currently dominate and control these markets. The removal of intermediaries in the supply chain will have a major impact on companies, industries and governments.
A couple of the mavericks that have created this space are brands such as Uber and Airbnb. Uber, the ride-sharing app/site is revolutionising how we connect with transport providers and commute. Uber literally connect consumers with a driver in minutes, ride-sharing services make it easier for people to get around compared to the traditional forms of transportation and are less expensive. From getting a taxi, private car or rideshare through to a water taxi, from your mobile phone. Airbnb makes it easy to locate the perfect accommodation in any location across the globe, they currently you can find hosts in 190 countries in more than 34,000 cities. A few years ago, none of this could have been possible. The owner of a bed and breakfast would have had to market their property through a local tourism board or professional association. For someone looking to rent a single room or cabin, the process likely would have been cost-prohibitive.
What are the impacts on Governments, Industries and Business?
Governments are still trying to come to grips with the emergence of the sharing economy and with it the 100’s of these type of new technology companies.
This is just one of many battles underway across the globe and across many industries as the old economy resists the new economies march forward. One of the key issues we face across the globe is government’s legislation, policy and rules as lagging years behind the actual state of the market. While the old economy resists change, (in part because of its regulation, established business models and the effect the change will have on the industry and the wider economy), the sharing economy pushes forward. Carving our niche markets that will soon become the predominant market in the years ahead.