The concept of a sharing economy is engraved in our human instinct. Cooperative structures that include sharing, individual choices, gifting and swapping are a basic part of any community. However, to adopt the sharing economy as a business structure is relatively new. The term “sharing economy” has only recently come about in the mid-2000s. It mainly spread due to a combination of social technologies and a realization of global issues, including population growth and resource depletion. The financial crisis in 2007 also awakened people to be creative and turn underutilized materials into steady incomes.
However, it is adopted as a business structure is relatively new, and the term “sharing economy” has only recently come about in the mid-2000s. It mainly spread due to a combination of social technologies and a realization of global issues, including population growth and resource depletion. The financial crisis in 2007 also awakened people to be creative and turn underutilized materials into steady incomes.
Currently, there has been an increase in businesses that are developing around the idea of the sharing economy, and this number will only continue rising. Some famous examples include Uber, a ridesharing service, Airbnb, a home-renting website, and Upwork.com, a website that allows for people to accept gigs in their free time and potentially turn it into a full-time job.
These businesses are prime examples of how the sharing economy works to benefit both people receiving the service and those who are giving the service. If you have a skill, you use it to help someone and earn money. Or if you need a ride somewhere, you can find the cheapest and fastest option in a matter of minutes. If you have an empty room, you can rent it out on Airbnb for extra cash.
The sharing economy transforms the relationship between employer and contractor. Instead of traditional roles, the buyer and seller see the process more like an exchange. Money is a huge incentive, but there is also a community aspect. When people choose to use Airbnb to spend the night, they are usually hoping to get to know the local area through the host’s recommendations. It benefits travelers who are looking for unique and cheap housing with a local experience. Employer and contractor become equal, and trust and credibility become important factors. These factors can be seen through building work relationships on Upwork, to staying the night in a stranger’s home with Airbnb.
Sharing economy broken down is the idea that most people have idle resources, and that there is an importance in creating value in something that otherwise would go wasted. Looking into it even further, when resources are being wasted, this is a problem for both the economy and the health of the planet. Addressing this waste is the essence of systems thinking. Systems thinking views everything as interconnected, and only within relationships can we understand how something is working.
Economists see the sharing economy as where the future is heading. It thrives in large urban settings, and the rate of urban dwellers continues to grow every year. Cities are the best place for a sharing economy due to some people both offering services and needing them. As technology continues to develop, the limits we see now will become less, and we will find ourselves living in a completely different world.