The New Sharing Economy

This panel was about the huge shift that’s taking place toward sharing—from car sharing to companies like Netflix. Naturally, sharing is a virtue and completely embodies purpose. Less selfishness means our world becomes a better resourced, better place.

Some nuggets that made me think:

-Studies show people are drawn in by the altruistic aspect of sharing. If it saves them money AND helps the world, people are motivated to share. (Yay, humanity).

-While the world is coming around to sharing, no one in the room would take a ride from an anonymous stranger on Craigslist. So there are solutions popping up to help with the trust issue–i.e. John Zimmer is founder of zimride, which establishes private social networks people can trust for ride sharing.-Sharing companies often make cooler products that are not available in the mainstream retail space. For example, a bike sharing company offers bikes that can store your iTunes library. So don’t discount the innovation potential of these companies.

-There is an opportunity for community libraries to offer more than just books—to be a local “sharing hub” for information and things.

– Consumers are demanding their goods be more durable. They will spend more for something that will last longer. Some retailers are responding to this. Companies in general are going to need to adjust to the sharing trend—to recognize that people are buying less, and help them get the most out of their products after purchase.

-Craigslist is not our only option anymore.  Here are just a FEW of the “sharing companies” that were mentioned in the panel:

-Rentalic -ShareZen -Eat With Me -ThredUp -Airbnb -Swap -Solar City -Neighbor Goods

(There are loads more).

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