Sharing Economy: Why Own?

Like most good things, the sharing economy is a child of the 60's, when computer capacity was a scarce resource.

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Some had too much, others not enough, and love was in the air. In the next wave, Napster started to share music, which quickly caught on and was consequently forbidden to protect the music industry.

The third wave of the sharing economy was kick-started in 2008 by some young lads, who couldn’t afford the rent increase on their pad in San Francisco. They came up with scheme to put up a couple of design conference participants on air mattresses in their living room, as the same design conference had reserved every hotel room in the city.

Supply and demand always create business opportunities, as long as the parties are able to find one another. It takes it’s app, certainly, but the sheer genius of AirBnB – what has made your, mine and everybody’s home part of the world’s largest hotel chain – is the social factor in both concept and experience: A second to none, unique, authentic and community oriented experience. So completely different to the tourist traps most hotels can muster.

This is customer engagement in full bloom. That, which makes us return for more, put up our own home, and spread the good news in social circles and via good rankings.

AirBnB doesn’t threaten the establishment directly, like the black sheep, Uber. To the contrary, many argue that this initiative actually expands the cake, increasing tourism by attracting new segments.

With full transparency, flexibility and easy smartphone access, the sharing economy keeps the traditional companies on their toes. And it takes quite a lot to keep up with the bliss of sharing, which is not only economically sound, but often also environmentally, practically and socially superior.

Legislation might upset the apple-cart in favour of the establishment. But not for long, like the 12 km/h speed limit the horse carriage industry manged to get enforced at the emergence of the automobile.