The so called sharing economy has been growing for some time now. The philosophy is a simple one. Rather than buy a product outright, you share it with other people. The model has extended its reach into a wide range of industries, from car hire to hotel rental, from fashion to recruitment.
Altimeter have produced a report into this industry (that they term the collaborative economy). They outline the various forces that are underpinning this shift towards a sharing economy.
It’s certainly an interesting report, but I can’t help but feel it stops short of exploring the full potential of our collaborative society. It rightly mentions how social platforms are often removing the intermediary and allowing consumers to deal directly with one another, but it seems a shame that they only apply this thinking to how it might impact the private sector.
There have been numerous examples of how the same desires that are driving the sharing economy in the private sector are also underpinning a shift in how public services are delivered and funded.
The title also kinda lends itself to misunderstanding, as for me a collaborative economy covers a much wider range of issues than purely collaborative consumption, which is the main focus of the report.
That said, it is a fine overview of how collaborative consumption has evolved and is impacting the private sector, and in that sense it cannot be faulted. Hopefully they will turn their considerable talents to how this philosophy is impacting other parts of society as well in future reports. Check out the document below and let me know your thoughts in the comments.