Today, access trumps ownership – this is the mantra of the sharing economy. Why buy a car and pay a fortune to maintain it when you can take a car when you need one, then bring it back and forget about it until you need one again. On the other hand, if you have some tools sitting out in the garage that get used once or twice a year, why not share them with others and make some money from it! Theoretically, and from so far experience across the world, it’s a win-win system!
People who have things to share can connect with people who need them. The internet allows this coordination on a massive scale. People have always had things to share, but now it’s easy, and en mass!
The Sharing Economy is here, it’s growing, and it won’t go away! PWC estimate that by 2025 the sharing economy will generate $335bn in global revenue a year. Sharing in Ireland can be seen through companies such as Airbnb, GoCar and Coca Cola Zero Bikes. Around 425,000 people guest with Airbnb per night worldwide, GoCar is growing every day with over 4,500 members sharing over 100 cars, and Coca Cola Zero Bikes celebrated their 10th million journey last April.
Around the world, there is a sharing platform for almost anything. You can share dogs, power washers, even your own skills!
Sharing reduces vast amounts of waste. Think of a power washer – you may only need to use this once or twice a year. Instead of splashing out, why not just use someone else’s and then give it back? It also provides people who may not be able to afford ownership, access to certain goods and services. People who would not be able to afford a car can now access a fleet of over 100.
As well as reducing waste and increasing access, the sharing economy fosters community relations. For example look at the company Streetbank. Originating in Australia but spreading across the world, Streetbank connects communities by providing a platform where members of a neighbourhood can share and swap goods, time or skills. It encourages a sense of community spirit, and you may meet people through it that you’ve never even seen before!
In conclusion, the Sharing Economy just makes sense. Staying in a stranger’s house with Airbnb or getting someone else to mind or walk your dog might be a scary thought for some people, but it works and it will continue to work and grow in the future. So get on board and try it out, it’s the way of the future!