Are sharing platforms a great new opportunity for cities? <PUT INTO examples article> WEF http://www3.weforum.org/docs/White_Paper_Collaboration_in_Cities_report_2017.pdf “The sharing economy has virtually disrupted all sectors, creating a multitude of platform-based marketplaces that connect individuals, enterprises and communities at a peer-to-peer level. The sharing economy is making cities redefine land-use strategies, minimize their costs, optimize public assets and […]
Concluding our mini-series on sharing economy platform businesses, today we will apply a very wide lens on the potential impacts and opportunities of our innovations. Last time, we talked about positive and negative impacts and how we as innovator can take part in finding solutions rather than awaiting potentially heavy-handed regulations.
Today, we are going to cast an even wider view on potential social impacts. I am aiming to balance risks and opportunities. There are many on both sides. The critics see the large for-profit sharing economy platforms, such as Uber and Airbnb, as leading to a “dystopia, with increasingly powerful platforms facing disempowered workers” [“that deliver a latte in a rainstorm to the more fortunate ones”]. Optimistic observers spot utopian possibilities of a crowd- and trust-based economic system and the emergence of a “networked society of micro‐entrepreneurs”
Join me to see the arguments on both sides!
The sharing economy is a fast-growing innovation opportunity. PricewaterhouseCoopers projects a 20-fold increase between 2016 and 2025 – reaching €570 billion ($674 billion). Its best know representatives are Uber and Airbnb. But there are many other wonderful examples and types of sharing economy platform business models.
It is common understanding that the role of the innovator is to introduce new methods, ideas, products/services or business models. But does it end there?
The answer is a resounding “no”. After having built one of the highest valued start-ups (by market capitalisation), Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick had to step down as top executive. The reason were not a lack of growth or bad financial results. It was due to the poor management of negative impacts of the platform. At the same time, Airbnb is awaiting dozens of regulatory decisions all over the world that can wipe off a considerable amount of their housing stock in the affected cities.
Innovators have to understand and manage the implications of their ideas to participants and non-participants before a negative public opinion forms which would put pressure on regulators to introduce heavy-handed, innovation-stifling measures in place.
Today we will look how innovators can help manage the foot print of their companies, the public discourse and regulations in a positive way using innovative ideas.
Airbnb and Uber are the two most prominent examples of how to apply the platform business model to the sharing economy. But there are countless other sharing economy platform businesses as you have seen last time in the explanation of types and examples.
One of the early thought leaders, Rachael Botsman, defines the sharing economy as “an economic model based on sharing underutilised assets from spaces to skills to stuff for monetary or non-monetary benefits. It is currently largely talked about in relation to P2P [peer-to-peer] marketplaces but equal opportunity lies in the B2C [business-to-consumer] models.”
The sharing economy is one of the most significant socio-economic trends of the last decade. And it is in the early days still. For innovators, this is yet undiscovered land with countless ideas and opportunities to be discovered.
But how do we innovate within a large trend? One of the most important aspects is to understand which business models are suitable to bring the strength of the trend to light.
And that’s exactly what we are going to look at today: How the Platform Business Model fuels the Sharing Economy!
Sharing, gift cultures and reciprocity are as old as human civilisations and possibly as old as human species – even without a smartphone! But since we have the latter, things have started changing dramatically. We have not become much more generous all of a sudden. But the number of opportunities to share has dramatically increased – thanks to the work of clever innovators.
The sharing economy is an important trend following the invention of the world wide web.
Like web 1.0, the early sharing economy ideas have not unleashed the full potential of the idea. As was web 2.0, the sharing economy (call it 2.0) is an exciting rebirth of this socio-economic trend that plays an increasing role in people’s life and present so many innovation ideas.
Join me for a journey through the exiting examples of the sharing economy 2.0.