Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Franciso announced the formation of a Sharing Economy Working Group today, the first of its kind in the U.S. and perhaps in the world. The purpose of the working group, "is to take a comprehensive look at the economic benefits, innovative companies and emerging policy issues around the growing 'sharing economy'”. This could catalyze other cities to take similar action.
As one of the epicenters of the emerging sharing economy with companies like Airbnb, Taskrabbit, MeshLabs, Getaround and RelayRides calling it home, San Francisco is uniquely positioned to innovate in the policy realm. “The growing ‘sharing economy’ is leveraging technology and innovation to generate new jobs and income for San Franciscans in every neighborhood and at every income level,” said Mayor Lee. “As the birthplace of this new, more sustainable ‘sharing economy,’ San Francisco must be at the forefront of nurturing its growth, modernizing our laws, and confronting emerging policy issues and concerns
Today, a growing number of people are trading items and favors between each other. Digital technology allows anyone to find an object or service they need, when they want it, where they want it. Rather than finding these products and services at retailers or from large corporations, these items are often found in the hands of other people—sometimes neighbors, sometimes like minds a great distance away.
Everything and anything is being lent and traded. The product-service economy is growing, and has reached a level where a significant number of people are maximizing the use of their possessions by lending them out to other people through disintermediated channels.
The SHARING ECONOMY movement has gone mainstream. According to a national consumer study, not only did a 60 percent of overall respondents find the concept of sharing appealing, but a full 71 percent of those who have used shareable products expect to continue.
The data confirms both the health of the trend and the need for marketers to acknowledge related shifts in the marketing landscape. Minneapolis ad agency CAMPBELL MITHUN commissioned the study and partnered with CARBONVIEW RESEARCH to quantify consumer response to the sharing concept nationwide.
A total of $130 million has been raised by the site, with film being the largest category, followed by music. Over 450,000 people have contributed to about 4,500 films on Kickstarter. Some people give so that they can see their name in the credits, or go to a premier or get a T-shirt. And some give just because they’d like to see the movie that is being pitched on a screen someday.
Once you discover local opportunities for sharing and collaborating, it’s time to add the power: you. Get involved. Create a profile on sharing/renting/bartering site and actually list some stuff you could trade. Contact the moderator of a local offline sharing group and offer up your goods or services. Collaborative consumption requires a venture into a social world, even if it's only online; you need to get out there.
The SF Bay Area is a hub for a new type of sharing economy, where things aren’t bought but borrowed. Let’s call it the age of sharing. “But I’m finding that the biggest benefit is that just getting to know my neighbors makes me happy. The general happiness level tends to go up with sharing.”
A collaboration between Shareable Magazine and Parsons Desis Lab, focused on giving participants the tools, knowledge and connections to create a more affordable, sustainable future within a new economy that thrives on sharing.
I registered with My Virtual Neighbor to see if any of my neighbors are members. It appears that I am the only one right now. The site has instructions on how to procure members from my neighborhood, but I have to have their email addresses.
It would become a “natural mesh network” Black says, with some higher-income families signing up to host, and others choosing which neighbor to piggyback off of. “There are people there who will not get online” on their own, but they would if their neighbors had a hotspot.“By acting locally in your own self interest, to maximize your bandwidth use,” he says, “you are helping to expand the internet.”
There's a classic story in economics primers illustrating the power of network effects. It tells how the first fax machine gave little value to its owner--after all, there was no one else with whom to send and receive faxes.
Tight budgets and the internet have given rise to the hottest new thing in travel accommodations: spare bedrooms.
Web-based company Airbnb has received a lot of press recently for its for-profit service that matches travelers with empty bedrooms, such as mine, in Seattle. Airbnb and other companies that create a market for guest rooms could fundamentally change the hotel industry, boost income for thousands of homeowners, and slash the ecological footprint of travel.
Indeed, some of today's most innovative and successful companies rely on team leadership. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg-- who began as a guru of sorts -- in 2008 hired Sheryl Sandberg as chief operating officer to help govern the rapidly expanding and influential business. Some might say this is an example of "adult supervision" (i.e., an experienced manager being brought in to support a young startup founder, in the way that Google's (GOOG) Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Eric Schmidt as CEO in the early days). But it is also a team-leadership strategy that has obviously paid off for many companies. Ultimately, collaboration is the key to sustained success at any innovative company -- no matter how much employees may admire a single figurehead. Ideas are only ideas until a team of people makes them real, profitable, and scalable over the long-term.
Many of us have grown so accustomed to using social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to connect with each other, that we may have overlooked what research shows is a growing gap in our social lives, which is connecting with our neighbors
Most corporate buildings don't do a good job of supporting collaboration, brainstorming, and innovative work methods. They tend to be dominated by cubicles or offices which are suited for individual work, or by hard-to-book conference rooms that teams can use but only for short periods of time. What's needed is a more flexible space that better supports teams and inspires more open thinking. These are common at design firms such as frog where I work, but rare in corporate settings.
I recently saw one such space when I was invited to give a talk at Citrix, the Silicon Valley-based maker of GoToMeeting and virtualization and cloud software, as part of their Design Salon speaker series.
"What’s a less touted statistic– and more interesting from our perspective watching this trend– is that there’s so much latent interest from people. Deskmag found that 65% of non-coworkers expressed serious interest in coworking. I think this has some serious implications for the future of coworking as it draws interest from outside the pool of the usual freelancers and startups.
It makes you think about coworking as a movement, rather than just a trend. Coworking can go beyond changing how we work as independents to redefining how we connect to and marshal opportunities for multiple types of organizations."
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