Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sharing Economy Piece from Fast Company

Really interesting piece on the topic of collaborative consumption in the May issue of Fast Company Magazine.

Written by Danielle Sacks, "The Sharing Economy" overviews the idea and business of people sharing stuff and provides a look at the current players and where the market might be headed.

Sacks begins with the story of Neal Gorenflo, a former DHL staffer and then founder of the non-profit Shareable... which came out of Gorenflo working to remove from his life things that didn't add value. While it may seem a squishy step to go from life purpose to growth business area, there really is a lot of use to be had from and money to made out of resource sharing.

To this point, one of the main things covered by Sacks and in this sidebar piece is how many different categories of goods and services can have the concept of collaborative consumption at play. Freecycle, Thredup, Zipcar, Airbnb, Neighborgoods... all players in this space sure to joined by many others.

Several additional sources of information that Sacks cites are a Lisa Gansky Tedx talk on car sharing and the Rachel Botsman book What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption. Reference is also made to the idea from Botsman of access to goods and services being more important than ownership of them.

Fascinating concept this sharing thing... and also referenced elsewhere in this this issue of Fast Company with Brave New Co-Working World about shared workspaces.