Collaborative Consumption

tradepal:

In its’ fourth installment of Women, Power & Money, Fleishman-Hillard and Hearst Magazines have released their survey which highlights the American woman’s “sphere of influence”. The latest study revealed many of the newly adopted traits of women consumers, their new consumer mindsets and…

theuniiverse:

Sharing: More than just a pre-school lesson

In kindergarten we were taught the importance of sharing and its purpose has become much more than making friends and avoiding playground tiffs. Our capacity to share will have a huge impact on our future, and recent trends are showing a shift in the right direction. The sharing economy revolution is under way!

The Problem

The gap between rich and poor is growing and accelerating; the environment is suffering, and as a result happiness is withering. It can be argued that all of these issues can relate in one way or another, to our capacity as societies to share assets. Are we sharing enough to make a difference?

Perceptions of consumerism are being re-evaluated. Does having more stuff truly make us happier, or does it hinder our time, space, and bank accounts? Society has put ownership and ego above access, experiences, and convenience. With recent economic and environmental struggles, this attitude is no longer efficient.

The Solution

The term sharing economy is soon to become omnipresent. It argues that sharing assets, such as our belongings, space, skills, time, and resources, can have not only economic and environmental benefits, but can also increase happiness, overall well-being, and create stronger communities. Sharing is an activity that can solve so many problems and provide so many benefits at once.

Several reports have shown there is a desire to share within our society on a larger scale but most are not good at it or don’t know how. Technology and the social web are going to play the most dominant role in the sharing revolution. Our online sharing habits have made people more open to the idea of sharing off-line.

Uniiverse is providing a solution for those with a desire to share with the new platform for collaborative living. Sharing in the physical realm is now made easy. As a person-to-person marketplace for services and activities, Uniiverse enables anyone to share what they have to offer, or discover what they wish to find.

  • Do you have a guitar that sits around collecting dust? Share it
  • Are you a yoga enthusiast looking to teach your passion? Share it
  • Is there extra room in your car for your drive to New York? Share it
  • Can you teach people how to cook? Share it
  • Does your garden have extra room for someone to plant on? Share it
  • Have a parking spot that you never use during the day or at all? Share it

The shift from hyper consumption to collaborative consumption is happening; are you going to be a part of it? Let’s make a dent in the Uniiverse together.

What will Ü share?

thebusinessofbusiness:

 
Wait a second! Bad for the economy but good for people?  How is that possible?  Most of what we hear on the news, from our politicians, and in casual conversations is about the health of the economy.  The underlying assumption is that what’s good for the economy is also good for everyone.  It makes sense in theory.  The larger the economy, the more goods and services are available, the more choice we have, the happier we are…or so goes the theory.
But is this really true?  A relatively new business model is challenging this assumption.  It’s called collaborative consumption or the “sharing” economy.  The way it works is by finding and utilizing excess capacity in existing resources, both physical (e.g. cars, apartments, clothes) and non-physical (labor, time, transportation).  For example, have you ever used websites like Craigslist or Wikipedia?  Have you ever sold second-hand clothes at a consignment store or let a friend crash in an extra bedroom? If you have, then you have participated in collaborative consumption.
While eBay and ZipCar are known to nearly everyone, new companies in the past few years have figured out innovative ways to efficiently use of other resources with high idling rates:  websites like AirBnB make use of extra space in our homes, GetAround provides more effective use of our cars, TaskRabbit allows each of us to more efficiently use our time.  Well, this is a great thing, right?  New businesses are being created which create employment and the economy grows, right?  How can that possibly be bad for the growth economy?
There are two important pieces to the explanation – one at the macro level, the other at the local.  At the macro level, when banks loan money for a new business, mortgage, or credit card purchase, they are, in effect, loaning money into existence.  This money did not exist before the loan was made and is literally created as an accounting entry in the bank’s ledger.  In addition, interest is also charged on every new loan; the effect being that the amount of debt is always greater than the money supply.  This practice can only continue working if more money is loaned each year to be able to pay off the principle plus interest loaned in previous years.  In fact, if the overall GDP fails to grow year after year, banks are crippled and the entire apparatus for new money creation is destroyed.
At the local level, the purpose of any economy is match goods with needs.  And while professional marketers are continuously trying to expand the needs and wants of modern consumers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new needs to fill.  Hence, collaborative consumption business models are a real problem for the growth-seeking macro economy.  While these companies can and will provide growth for their respective businesses, they are not actually meeting any new needs.  Nearly all collaborative consumption businesses just meet existing needs in a fun, community-building, and cheaper way.
Another way to say it is that collaborative consumption businesses steal market share from established businesses but generate far less revenue than the replaced businesses.  For example, when was the last time you looked for information in an encyclopedia Britannica?  Prior to the Wikipedia and other information sharing websites, the encyclopedia market in America has shrunk from $800 million in 1989 to $300 million in 2003.  How about Craigslist?  This non-profit has destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars in sales from classified ads in traditional print media.  The more people that rent spaces through AirBnB mean fewer people staying in hotels.  In effect, the collaborative economy cuts out the middle man, allowing needs to be met more efficiently and cheaply.
While this is a good thing for people, it is a bad thing for the macro economy. Collaborative consumption is actually reducing scarcity and meeting more needs while generating far less revenue than the previous method for meeting those same needs.  Today, if I don’t own a car, I am easily and safely able to borrow someone else’s car, thanks to GetAround.  Rather than having an inauthentic travel experience in a hotel, I can find a variety of lodging options through AirBnB.  If travel agencies are too pricey, I can find a local tour guide on Vayable.  Music and video sharing has wiped out billions in sales of entertainment. Each of these businesses enable more exchanges of goods and services by letting people efficiently share the costs of existing resources, creating a negative net effect on macro-level economic growth. How is a poor economy to grow?
Very few these days can doubt that a transformational shift is happening in the world. A multitude of crises – energy, water, land, economic, environmental, even spiritual – are converging.  In our hearts (and increasingly in our minds as well), we are realizing that the linear business models of the past, which Van Jones describes as “turning living stuff into dead stuff”, are no longer appropriate for the health and longevity of our civilization.  Yet our system compels us to grow…or die.  Collaborative consumption shows us it is possible to increase well-being while turning off the growth engine. 
Sustainable Man

thebusinessofbusiness:

Wait a second! Bad for the economy but good for people?  How is that possible?  Most of what we hear on the news, from our politicians, and in casual conversations is about the health of the economy.  The underlying assumption is that what’s good for the economy is also good for everyone.  It makes sense in theory.  The larger the economy, the more goods and services are available, the more choice we have, the happier we are…or so goes the theory.

But is this really true?  A relatively new business model is challenging this assumption.  It’s called collaborative consumption or the “sharing” economy.  The way it works is by finding and utilizing excess capacity in existing resources, both physical (e.g. cars, apartments, clothes) and non-physical (labor, time, transportation).  For example, have you ever used websites like Craigslist or Wikipedia?  Have you ever sold second-hand clothes at a consignment store or let a friend crash in an extra bedroom? If you have, then you have participated in collaborative consumption.

While eBay and ZipCar are known to nearly everyone, new companies in the past few years have figured out innovative ways to efficiently use of other resources with high idling rates:  websites like AirBnB make use of extra space in our homes, GetAround provides more effective use of our cars, TaskRabbit allows each of us to more efficiently use our time.  Well, this is a great thing, right?  New businesses are being created which create employment and the economy grows, right?  How can that possibly be bad for the growth economy?

There are two important pieces to the explanation – one at the macro level, the other at the local.  At the macro level, when banks loan money for a new business, mortgage, or credit card purchase, they are, in effect, loaning money into existence.  This money did not exist before the loan was made and is literally created as an accounting entry in the bank’s ledger.  In addition, interest is also charged on every new loan; the effect being that the amount of debt is always greater than the money supply.  This practice can only continue working if more money is loaned each year to be able to pay off the principle plus interest loaned in previous years.  In fact, if the overall GDP fails to grow year after year, banks are crippled and the entire apparatus for new money creation is destroyed.

At the local level, the purpose of any economy is match goods with needs.  And while professional marketers are continuously trying to expand the needs and wants of modern consumers, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find new needs to fill.  Hence, collaborative consumption business models are a real problem for the growth-seeking macro economy.  While these companies can and will provide growth for their respective businesses, they are not actually meeting any new needs.  Nearly all collaborative consumption businesses just meet existing needs in a fun, community-building, and cheaper way.

Another way to say it is that collaborative consumption businesses steal market share from established businesses but generate far less revenue than the replaced businesses.  For example, when was the last time you looked for information in an encyclopedia Britannica?  Prior to the Wikipedia and other information sharing websites, the encyclopedia market in America has shrunk from $800 million in 1989 to $300 million in 2003.  How about Craigslist?  This non-profit has destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars in sales from classified ads in traditional print media.  The more people that rent spaces through AirBnB mean fewer people staying in hotels.  In effect, the collaborative economy cuts out the middle man, allowing needs to be met more efficiently and cheaply.

While this is a good thing for people, it is a bad thing for the macro economy. Collaborative consumption is actually reducing scarcity and meeting more needs while generating far less revenue than the previous method for meeting those same needs.  Today, if I don’t own a car, I am easily and safely able to borrow someone else’s car, thanks to GetAround.  Rather than having an inauthentic travel experience in a hotel, I can find a variety of lodging options through AirBnB.  If travel agencies are too pricey, I can find a local tour guide on Vayable.  Music and video sharing has wiped out billions in sales of entertainment. Each of these businesses enable more exchanges of goods and services by letting people efficiently share the costs of existing resources, creating a negative net effect on macro-level economic growth. How is a poor economy to grow?

Very few these days can doubt that a transformational shift is happening in the world. A multitude of crises – energy, water, land, economic, environmental, even spiritual – are converging.  In our hearts (and increasingly in our minds as well), we are realizing that the linear business models of the past, which Van Jones describes as “turning living stuff into dead stuff”, are no longer appropriate for the health and longevity of our civilization.  Yet our system compels us to grow…or die.  Collaborative consumption shows us it is possible to increase well-being while turning off the growth engine. 

Sustainable Man

gigidowns:

Waaa. Brain explodes as social shopping buzzwords spill henceforth but here goes: @LittleBlackBag starts by reeling you in with a quiz to establish your fashion sense (not disimilar to ShoeDazzle et al.).

Next you are presented with a mystery bag of designer apparel and accessories curated…

tradepal:

In its’ fourth installment of Women, Power & Money, Fleishman-Hillard and Hearst Magazines have released their survey which highlights the American woman’s “sphere of influence”. The latest study revealed many of the newly adopted traits of women consumers, their new consumer mindsets and…

jasonshah:

There must be something to learn from the Airbnb user experience.

Airbnb, like many startups following in its path of collaborative consumption or others simply trying to power offline action, have the challenge of earning user trust. While PR, word of mouth, and direct outreach can alleviate…