THE SHARING ECONOMY

Mohamed El-Erian, Project Syndicate, 7 April 2015

T

he world and how it does business has rapidly been changing over the past few years. The sharing economy – the connection between people with assets (such as cars, housing and other services) and people who need them – has been disrupting established businesses and threatening them and their future. Companies like Uber, Amazon and Lyft have exploited huge and previously unseen opportunities and transformed their particular industries – leaving big businesses, like taxi and hotel companies, struggling in the wake. Although it is harmful to the main dealers in these industries, this “sharing” disruption is critical to the innovation of a sector. When Airbnb takes away the market share from hotels, it is up to those hotels to either earn it back or fall out of the race. This innovation and disruption doesn’t only force industries to adapt but to modernize and increase their focus on the wants of the consumer.

Some sectors have already successfully acclimatized to this new way of business. The auto industry began making changes to their current business models by focusing on enhancing the digital experience that a consumer receives in a car. This alteration allows the car industry to embrace the new sharing economy by helping people remain well-connected in their car and by expanding their scope of after-sale services. The key component of the sharing economy is innovation, and the sooner big corporations understand that, the better chance they have of not getting run out.

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‘Companies like Uber and Airbnb are all products of the sharing economy. In future, many services will no longer require a team or a production line,’ said Chen [Co-Founder of Chinese Airbnb]. ‘Anybody can become a service provider with their unique skills and resources, such as vehicles, massage, hairdressing, manicure and apartments. As long as they have a profile on the Internet, they can contact them directly to make the trade happen.Yang Ziman, China Daily, 19 April 2015
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THE SHARING ECONOMY

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