We have a revolution of sorts on our hands and it’s called collaborative consumption. We all know that we can’t sustain the pace of consumption we (meaning, humanity) set in the 20th century. In fact, our consumption of goods has been excessive and extravagant over the last 100 years.
The days of over-consumption are gone. Whatever the reason, the economic doldrums, or the focus on de-cluttering our lives, consumers are becoming increasingly cost-conscious and prudent. Collaboration and sharing is becoming a smarter way to consume, and it connects one consumer to another.
Collaborative consumption is defined by Wikipedia as:
The term collaborative consumption is used to describe an economic model based on sharing, swapping, bartering, trading or renting access to products as opposed to ownership. Technology and peer communities are enabling these old market behaviors to be reinvented in ways and on a scale never possible before.
Collaborators are delivering unique product ideas and concepts that satisfy this new appetite for sharing, bartering, exchanging, etc. These pioneers are reinventing not only what we consume but how we consume by focusing on the power of the community to barter, share, and swap products and services. There are so many great examples of collaborative consumption at work.
Several firms are revolutionizing these new economies within their own communities.
Is it time that Muncie and Delaware County create a new economy based on sharing? Maybe with the help of the young innovators coming into Muncie to attend Ball State University.
You can find out more about these companies by visiting their websites at:
- TaskRabbit – revolutionizing the way people get things done by connecting neighbors to share their time.
- Zopa – providing an online money exchange service, allowing people who have money to lend it to those who wish to borrow, instead of using savings accounts and loan applications at traditional banks.
- thredUp – revolutionizing the way people consume clothing by offering a platform for the exchange of children’s clothes.
- AirBnB – innovating where people stay by letting folks rent out their personal space (apartment, home, etc).
- Zimride – is disrupting traditional transportation by offering a social network for ride sharing.
- Fun2Rent – s a peer-to-peer platform that enables owners to rent out their vehicles, vessels, and trailers to qualified and insured parties.
If readers are interested in exploring collaborative business models, please feel free to share your ideas by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org for publishing. We think there are certainly some powerful ideas that just might help transform the U.S., one community at a time.
Why not in Muncie?