It is the era of ‘’the end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism’’. In his book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, tells about the shift to “crowd-based capitalism” from the old-style corporate-centered model. He defines sharing economy as crowd-based capitalism. This new economic trend is also defined as collaborative consumption or peer economy. Among all the definitions what I like most so far is this one:
A socio-economic ecosystem built around the sharing of human, physical and intellectual resources. I like the word eco-system 🙂
Lately, as I just hosted my first Airbnb guest from India, and there is a widespread discussion about this new economic model, I decided to make a deeper research on sharing economy as an Airbnb host&guest, a crowdsourcing fan BD consultant, an uber rider, a constant user of upwork, craigslist, armut, blablacar, letgo, bionluk and etc. For me, it all started in the USA during my MBA years, when I first heard that carpool lanes could be utilized as regular drivers if there is more than one passenger in the car. It was actually a traffic management strategy to encourage ridesharing and reduce congestion which I found amazingly smart by then. We definitely need this regulation right now in Istanbul, right?
When you go online to see what’s on the market regarding this trending concept, you could be amazed by what you might find. I will be skipping the most popular ones I mentioned above in transportation, accommodation or talent sourcing. Apart from them, now my top 5 list is below. As far as I know, they have not been implemented in Istanbul, so feel free to bring them in.
Number 5, Justpark, Finds vacant privately-owned parking spaces
Number 4, Dogvacay, Connects pet owners with pet sitters
Number 3, Mealsharing, Connects hungry neighbors with neighbors with extra food
Number 2, Uship, Connects shippers with carriers
Number 1, Catalant, Connects enterprises with targeted expertize
It would not be fair if I skipped one of my friend’s new launch in Istanbul, Parkpalet, amazing warehouse optimization idea for big cities like Istanbul, the system basically connects warehouse owners with extra capacity and companies looking for short-term warehouse needs. It is a market of spare warehouse space for companies looking for storage capacity but not wanting to build or hold the typical long-term lease. It is probably the future of supply chain.
As every new trend, sharing economy comes with up and downs and challenges as well. Especially when you consider the most important underlying factor in this model: Trust and Reliability among citizens. Depending on the crime rate, it could be a little safer to share a car ride with a stranger in Zurich than Angola. And if we keep looking at the statistics, renting a room at a local house in Japan is safer than renting a local room in Belize. For me, in the next coming years, we will break this fear of statistics by the new age judicial system what we call ‘’Online Reviews’’. Online user reviews are started to being relied upon by consumers, so, I believe, if the reliability of those reviews is guaranteed, it is a big step in sharing economy in terms of trust among citizens. Apparently, other than trust, of course, there are other downside discussions coming from the governments about tax avoidance, labor deregulation or wage degradation.
Wherever these pros and cons discussions are leading, it looks like the trend is expanding. In a 2015 report by PWC, 43% of consumers say that owning today actually feels like a burden, and 83% think the sharing economy makes life more convenient and efficient.
Apart from economic, political, cultural positive effects, what excites me most is the social side. Among all the business models I have heard from my network of entrepreneur friends in the last couple years, I can say that %90 of them (the ideas implemented or waiting to be implemented in the near future), were sharing economy business models. It feels great to see that people are eventually trying to collaborate on some level, starting to rely on each other and building a trust through communities. That was basically one of my dreams on the sociologic level for our future generations. I always try to use this phrase whenever it is applicable; sharing is caring, so don’t hesitate to trust and share your resources and talents, participate in the community to support this new collaborative economy of the digital age!