The leading businesses that are advancing on the concept of the “sharing economy” are not really new to the market. A widely understood example would be of Uber, who has rivalled the local and international transportation businesses. As the economic power of these technology-driven firms grows, the economy is going towards the end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism. On an individual level, the concept of sharing economy provides simplified yet delightful experiences to consumers. Like Uber, easy services driven by technology are silently making a profound impact on the society.
Socially, we are moving from ownership to sharing. If we look closely at these companies, they neither offering technology, nor they are offering direct services. The delightful experience we just talked about is that these services are delivered by someone else, who is happy to share the goods and services with you. This is helping people from moving to complete ownership of the service to sharing model, thus connecting unknown people from across the globe. On a broader scale, we are moving from you & I to we & us.
The second most important aspect of the social change led by sharing economy is that we have started to trust the unknown. Every single time that you use or consume a service through a shared economy model, you the trust the unknown. Imagine you call a ride through Uber, choose the drive with the best feedback, and yet after a few minutes, you are driving with a completely unknown person. See, when you sat in the car with him, you chose to convince yourself that the driver will not harm you. Now think of this on a global scale, and this is happening every minute, everywhere. Phenomenal, isn’t it? We as a society are willing to put in more trust in unknown people, and take more risk to become global citizens. Look at this optimistically, and you’ll realise that this model is built upon mutual trust and respect.
Now that we are moving towards a model that is built solely on trust and respect, it is also very important to understand that the shared economy model moves you from the traditional set up to a fundamentally new model of consumption. The older models are mature and easy to go… and in fact, a trusted way of doing things, but globally, we are embracing the change. If the companies like Uber are pinpointing towards the growth of world in one direction, that direction is opposite of the traditional system. When you do your research, you’ll see Uber is handling more transportation than some local governments, and Airbnb is handling more reservations than the Hilton. With the passage of time, the traditional system will be so scarce that it will be negligible in many aspects.
Social change due to shared economy is very easy to understand. As you have observed an inevitable change in our society, we are becoming more diverse. We are sharing more, we are accepting more, and we are embracing new. This is definitely a huge paradigm shift which will slowly lead to a social revolution that we will soon read in our history books. The times we are living in is more interesting than ever before.