“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 behaviours to be reinvented in ways and on a scale never possible before. From enormous marketplaces such as eBay and Craigslist, to emerging sectors such as social lending (Zopa), peer-to-peer travel (CouchSurfing, Airbnb) and car sharing (Zipcar or peer-to-peer RelayRides), Collaborative Consumption is disrupting outdated modes of business and reinventing not just what people consume but how they consume it.” – Wikipedia
With Collaborative Consumption gaining momentum, it’s time to shift away from specialized services and move to a ubiquitous platform. The whole idea is about saying what you want and what you’re willing to accept in return.
Imagine if I want to buy a car, but I know that I will only be using it on weekdays as a commuter. Financially, I may have a tough time justifying the monthly payment if I am using it primarily as a commuter. But if I could go to my social network and set up collaborative consumption agreement with several other friends who would be willing to lease it from me on the weekends, then it would make a lot more sense financially.
Additionally, nearly everyone has skills that are worth money. Take this example: Steve is a contractor and wants to take his family to Tahoe for a weekend. With the tough economy, business is down for Steve, and he really can’t afford a hotel or to rent a house in Tahoe. Bob has a house in Tahoe, but there are some problems in the house that he can’t really afford to fix right now. Imagine if there were a platform that could connect Bob and Steve with an agreement that Steve would fix some of the problems in the house if Bob let’s him use it for a weekend.
A completely ubiquitous collaborative consumption platform has the potential of turning any person’s time and skill into a valuable commodity and anybody’s stuff into a valuable inventory. The possibilities are limitless! To date there is no way to connect this non-utilized supply with this untapped demand.