TL;DR – Talking about sharing economy goes beyond just profiteering, but what was sharing economy?
Sharing economy has taken the world by storm. It generates billions in revenues and transforms the economy at the same time. Here are five interesting things that you should know about sharing economy:
What is it really?
Sharing economy allows you to share underutilized assets for a fee or free. That means if you own anything (a room, house, car park lot, bicycle, book, laptop) but rarely use it, you can rent it out to someone else. The benefit is mutual; the customer benefits from the usage of the assets while you earn some side income.
Technology + Underutilized Asset = New Values
Sharing underutilized asset is not a novel idea. Remember that old video rental shop where you can rent VHS movie tapes that you want to watch? Or the homestay that you rent for a family vacation? These are sharing economy in traditional sense. Digital technology elevates this business model to another level. Service or asset is accessible at the click of a button.
Set to be even bigger in the future
Airbnb and Uber are valued at $30 billion USD $50 billion USD respectively. PWC estimates that some sharing economy segments could be worth $335 billion USD by 2025. How much does that worth? That money can be used to build roughly 20 more PETRONAS Twin Towers! As technology becomes more sophisticated, more business opportunities will arise, unlock more values, and widen the scale of sharing economy.
Tragedy of sharing economy
Pundits envision a society that owns less assets as sharing economy focus on access rather than ownership. Although this is good news to consumer, it might hurt conventional industry. Retail fuel for example depends on the sale of automobiles. Less ownership of cars might decrease demand for gasoline. Policy makers are also playing catch up in finding the balance between reaping the benefits of sharing economy while protecting consumers.
Check out these awesome sharing economy start-ups that leverage on sharing economy. Who knows these services might be the one that you are looking for?
Parking space: ParkIt Malaysia (parking spot problem solved)
What else comes to your mind as we talk about sharing economy?