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The shared economy stands as the logical solution to the lack of access to credit and the scarcity of natural resources. Its main benefit is the improvement of the efficiency that is given to the assets (a house or a car), capacities (all kinds of skills) and knowledge of people. In other words, people seek and find new alternatives to meet their needs. The million-dollar question is: what do companies do in the face of these trends?
The speed at which things are going
Imagine that we turn on a tap from which a drop falls, but each minute that passes doubles its amount. In minute two there are two, in three there are four, in four there are eight, and so on. How many days or hours will it take this tap to fill a football stadium with water? The answer is forty-nine minutes. The funny thing is that at minute forty-five the stadium would only have been filled by 7%, that is, those who were in the highest stands would not have seen it coming. These are exponential growths, the same ones that experience many shared economy initiatives born on the Internet.
The easy access to technology and information is dramatically accelerating the processes of innovation and technological adoption. It is the perfect breeding ground for the dissemination and adoption of practices and ideas such as those of the shared economy. Many of the best companies have been able to adapt to the changes, now the best companies of the 21st century will be able to anticipate them. Companies that do not take advantage of this trend run the risk of being left out of the game, regardless of the sector in which they operate.
Companies have had to manage the scarcity of resources through the price and distribution variables, basing their specific business for sale on the ownership of products with very short life cycles. For more in, in many occasions, those products fell in the underutilization. We all have products that we are not using constantly and that could be used by other users, thus avoiding the need to acquire them. That’s what shared economy is about, to change ownership for access.
Through webs that constitute true relationship environments, the shared economy allows us to save money, be more sustainable and have greater flexibility when it comes to covering our needs thanks to the interaction with other people. The key for all this new machinery to work is the trust that is generated among people, which is born thanks to the reputation one has in these spaces and the information we provide to transmit transparency.
Let’s be rational, the shared economy will have a great weight in our day to day in the short/medium term, but the world as we know it will not disappear. It will simply tilt the specific weight of each model, losing traditional power in favor of the new models. Having said that, we are going to reflect on how the shared economy affects different levels and scales:
You do not need to know much about marketing to know that a car covers more needs than mere transportation (lifestyle, social status, etc.). On the other hand, we should not forget how car factories make their living, and that is no other than selling cars. These brands to survivemustThey need to sell an X number of cars a year and now they not only have to compete against other car brands but also against car sharing initiatives. These initiatives show the unnecessariness of owning a car in certain circumstances, being sufficient to facilitate access to its use. The car-sharing platforms are a representation of how the shared economy can compete and turn upside down an avid sector of sales that works with obsolete rules, always going to achieve more sales. The examples par excellence of car sharing are Blablacar, Social Car and Avancar.
Reflection: could not some companies establish car sharing networks by taking advantage of their official workshops and second-hand vehicles?
Airbnb is a P2P platform (peer to peer or peer to peer) that allows any tourist to stay in the home of a private individual. Anyone can publish that room that does not use and give it a better use, thus making an underutilized asset profitable. This platform, which may seem like a hippie move or something similar, is estimated to have more rooms than the Hilton chain, the largest in the world. The remarkable thing is that Airbnb is a platform that started its activity at the end of 2008, a factor that stands out more if we consider that Hilton has been operating for almost 100 years.
Reflection: could not a hotel chain collaborate with Airbnb offering certain rooms?
The average citizen of the world is 28 years old, has a mobile phone and does not have a bank account. It is disturbing data that denotes where a world converges that already has initiatives to share money with your Facebook friends, platforms to buy and sell currencies in a cheaper and easier way, or crowdfunding portals that allow financing projects that have the endorsement of a crowd and not with the approval of a few interests.
Reflection: could not a bank take advantage of its know-how and awareness to launch its own crowdfunding platform?
Any company that wants to survive in this century should incorporate in their strategies the analysis of these shared economy initiatives that have impressive growth. Part of the success of these platforms lies in not capturing all the generated value and sharing it with a community. In this way, you get a common resource, which generates a value chain the network in which you are the strong node.
An evolution is to give the same questions in different answers. A revolution comes when we change the questions to get new answers. There are other ways of doing things as the Cosmonaut has already demonstrated and many other initiatives, you only need to take the first step.
Author Bio: I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in Marketing, SEO and following the latest trends in these areas. I am the Owner of techstalk.com
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