It is a complex phenomenon that has destroyed business models and changed the way we consume and work. The definition of shared or collaborative economy is a market trend and a new model of consumption based on the exchange of goods and services that previously remained idle or underused. Underexploited or idle resources can be houses, empty seats in cars, cars, skills, wealth, ideas, thoughts or time through a system of networks and markets. This movement is facilitated by Mobile technology, so we can see in real time on a phone the available goods and services.
The novelty lies precisely in the fact that technology now allows multiple and universal contacts at an extraordinary rate; with reduced infrastructure related costs, and very diminished organization, especially when compared to more traditional business models. Collaborative economy causes, for example, companies that do not own any housing have become the main temporary housing providers in the world; thanks to applications or technology platforms that connect offers of goods and services with the particular demands of individuals.
In any case, my opinion is that it is important to distinguish the collaborative economy itself from the technology platforms that support their business models. Technology has facilitated the development of the concept and the economic situation of an ongoing crisis in recent years has triggered their widespread use. Despite this, the shared economy is inspired by values of philanthropy, sharing and mutual help. This may occur on the Internet (on line) or off (offline), in bulk or in our neighboring communities sharing tools and elements common.
Europe is being a reference in terms of innovation in this new economy: France, Portugal or Spain are clear examples of how well people are integrating this powered by people new economy.
First, we must consider that the term "Sharing Economy" itself is totally new. Its own definition has been hard to set as the sharing economy is spreading in many different industries and in many ways. However, what we cannot deny are the benefits of it. In our case, Socialcar.com as a platform of P2P mobility we offer an extra income to many families renting the second most important asset. Otherwise people are replacing the ownership by the access to use, rethinking the urban mobility. Less cars, less emissions, more space.
As noted previously, the collaborative economy transcends the current business models and from my point of view, it will profoundly affect society in the future as long as we view collaborative economy as more than sharing "stuff" and understand it as a system for sharing experiences, ideas, thoughts or knowledge. In this context the current models of shared economy it is an owner who gets the benefits of transactions. But what would happen if those providing the service platform were also the owners? Probably a real redistribution of power would occur.It is a new paradigm of redistribution of power that rewards the user to the extent that he or she shares, and can also provide new opportunities for society to democratize the use of goods and services. As we move away from ownership toward a sharing model the amount of goods and services to which we have access multiply and available opportunities will multiply; I expect that in coming years this phenomenon will change even the way we consume, interact or work.
Sharing Economy is a whole new economy and of course, it can bring new jobs. Taking the example of Ecooltra, we are employing: mechanics, swappers (the ones that change the batteries from the electric vehicles), customer support...
The sharing economy is mainly empowering people. Peers can produce, offer and exchange services or assets to other peers when being a consumer as well. Badging it as capitalism will depend on the scale of the activity as many countries already legislate.
We have been operating in Spain for already 10 years and that is why we can openly say that it is a great country where people are willing to share theirs and from others. A recent study from the CNMV shows that close to the 30% of the Spanish population has taken already part of this phenomenon. Operamos en España desde hace 10 años y por ello podemos decir que es un país donde la gente tiene muchas ganas de compartir lo suyo y lo de otros. Un reciente estudio de la CNMV apunta que el 30% de la población española usó alguna de las plataformas de economía colaborativa en el pasado año.
The concept of an Economy based on shared or collaborative consumption is not a new idea, it not an idea of the XXI century; all human societies have shared. The origin of the concept/terminology of collaborative economy is recent and it became popularized between 2010 and 2011 thanks amongst others to Rachel Botsman, and articles in newspapers such as “Times Magazine” where it was noted that the collaborative consumption was one of the 10 ideas that could change the world.
Earlier in the 1990s, there were already pioneering companies that began offering services through platform models becoming today's forefront firms dedicated to shared accommodation or transportation. Since 2008, the global economic frame has made of collaborative economy a way out of the crisis of the economic system. The economic crisis, was further helped by the massive development of Internet, mobile and social networks. All of these issues, and the leadership of technology entrepreneurs, have generated the widespread development of initiatives covering the most varied economic niches, organizational models and activities.
Tech platforms empowering people to share whatever it is will continue to grow in the sense we like, we use, and we accept this new behavior. Services are already approved as more transparent, efficient and convenient. This is impacting and reshaping everything from traditional industries and legislation. Both traditional and shared ways to consume will have to coexist in harmony as both offer good options to us.