What does the sharing economy actually mean and why should you care?
As the Harvard Business Review puts it “Sharing is providing consumers with convenient and cost efficient access to resources without the… burdens of ownership”.
Expanding on that idea slightly, sharing is providing access to goods using resources that already exist in the community.
So why does this matter? The sharing economy has completely disrupted the Business to Consumer (B2C) model where traditionally the business was the owner of goods that are sold/rented as-new to consumers, by creating a platform where the business is not the owner but the facilitator of the exchange of existing resources between peers.
Ok that’s a mouthful but basically the sharing economy saves us from going out and buying something new by making use of the resources already in our community.
The go to example is Airbnb v Hilton, where Airbnb is the largest hotel chain in the world without owning a single hotel and instead utilises the spare capacity of rooms in apartments and homes (and other buildings) across the world.
Airbnb has completely changed the holiday accommodation landscape.
When planning your weekend away do you first visit airbnb.com or hotels.com?
Sharing is growing at such a rapid rate that by 2025 the global sharing economy is expected to hit $335B (Billion dollars) from its current $15B (2015).
These day’s consumers are more interested in access rather than ownership. Think Microsoft Office365, Spotify, Xero, all of these companies use subscription based models because that’s what consumers want.
Now apply that thinking to consumer assets, why buy a car that you will only use occasionally when you can access one for a fraction of the price? www.goget.com.au provides access to a car as and when you need it, reducing the wasted capacity of a car by sharing it amongst a community of users.
Think about all of the products that we have in abundance in Australia, many of which are sitting idle most of the time. Cars, Trucks, Bikes, Boats, Houses, the list goes on..
Why not save money, space and the environment by accessing assets already within your community?
The environmental benefits of accessing over owning are obvious. Imagine if everyone in your community had 2 cars, a boat, 2 fridges & 2 TV’s in the garage and a holiday home that gets used 4 weeks a year.
The amount of waste and pollution created by each household purchasing all of these items themselves instead of sharing their neighbours is huge.
Over 32,000 electrical appliances are dumped in Australian landfills everyday!
Every new product purchased eventually adds to our waste burden, so an easy way of reducing this is by re-using and utilising our existing resources rather than adding more to the pile.
What about these owners that have accumulated all of these assets that are simply collecting dust and eventually get sold for scrap or end up at the dump?
Why not share them amongst your community, providing access for a neighbour or friend and generating an income for you? Airbnb (last airbnb plug) has helped many households pay their mortgage by renting out their spare room or holiday home.
These days there are sharing platforms for almost everything (even film gear! check out https://www.hire-hive.com), most of them provide a very simple solution to getting your underutilised assets shared and earning.
If you have enough resources you can turn this into a fulltime job, working for yourself in your own time!
The fact is the sharing economy is here to stay. The team at 2ndLease are committed to helping people join the sharing economy and look forward sharing more insights, tips and opinions about this phenomenon.
Now that you know a little more about it you can go away and think about what you have, what you need and how you can contribute by accessing or sharing the resources already in our community.
Got any questions or ideas? Leave a comment below or reach out to us at enquiries@2ndLease.com.au, we are always pumped to find someone to talk about ‘sharing’.