Useful or Useless ?
I am working on the topic of Collaborative Consumption also referred to as ‘the sharing economy’. I am working on the topic of Collaborative Consumption also referred to as the Sharing Economy, because I would like to find out whether it is a concept companies tend to implement increasingly as well as what advantages and disadvantages it comes along with, so that businesses know if it is worth considering this alternative way of operating.
I would like to start pointing out advantages and disadvantages of the sharing economy.
Firstly, from the consumer’s point of view, it is a lot cheaper to share e.g. a car, than to own it solely. In my research I found out, that one guy is able to save 16800 $ annually by sharing. For further information visit: http://p2pfoundation.net/CollaborativeConsumption#EconomicValue.
Then, on the one hand, vendors profit over a longer period from one single asset as they can lent it several times and thus charge consumers each time. On the other hand, this is considered to be a loss for producers, because the assets loose value over time and may not meet the latest standard so that demand might decrease.
A very essential argument in favor of collaborative consumption is the sustainability it creates. I think especially nowadays were we live in a world full of over-consumption and corruption, it is pretty important to not forget this aspect.
Collaborative Consumption is enabling people to realize the enormous benefits of access to products and services over ownership, and at the same time, save money, space and time, make new friends, and become active citizens once again. <
This is a quotation from the currently most famous book "What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of the Collaborative Consumption" by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. I would agree with them saying, that one can save money with collaborative consumption. For example, I made the experience that it is a lot cheaper to share the car with other people when you are traveling long-distance than going by train or by airplane. However, I think it is a little bit exaggerated to state that one makes friends because of the sharing economy, because normally people share because they want to get a certain utility and not to meet new people. So I consider this to rather be a side-effect.
On top of that, some people argue that sometimes sharing is not safe. There are people who are afraid that if they for example do couch surfing, they will be robbed.
But there are already examples of businesses implementing this kind of operating-strategy.
Universities for example are using the same servers for their computers and some airlines are carrying also the packages of FedEx as well as the ones from its competitor U.S. Postal Service.
The Deutsch Bahn GmbH offers the ‘Call a Bike’ service, where people can simply rent bikes. Then there is this page www.mitfahrgelegenheit.de where people offer that you can travel with them by car or train. This for example also has the effect that less emissions are caused.
In Berlin a conference took place on (05/13/2013) – the first conference. Consequently the concept of the sharing economy is getting important increasingly. People start talking about it and thus people are considering it.
The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, expects the consumer peer-to-peer rental market to become a $26 billion industry.