What is mine is yours: collaborative consumption

redistribution systems before and after

Although collaborative consumption as practice is far from being a new concept, it was only in 2007 when Ray Algar used that term to define this common practice among both eastern and western societies, each with their different ways of implementation. After Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers published their book “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption” the movement has gained an international audience.

Collaborative Consumption movement describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies on a scale and in ways that have never been possible before. If you think about libraries, laundries or car-rental services you will easily realise that we are not talking about something created from scratch, since these sort of practices have always existed since the man is man. However, this type of interaction has experienced exponential growth thanks to new technologies such us the Internet and especially Social Media.

Collaborative Consumption Groundswell Video from rachel botsman on Vimeo.

Moreover, this is not only about sharing resources such as space or products. It is also about the exchange of time and skills. For example, the UK based charity FreshTies organises grassroots projects for people to help others within their local community by using their skills, sharing their knowledge, etc. Whether you are a cook or a lecturer they will match your skills with your next-door-neighbour needs. This is part of what Rachel Botsman describes as a collaborative lifestyle and it is a truly “Wake Up” attitude as we understand it.

The popularity of Collaborative Consumption has increased incredibly during the last year to the extent that it has been nominated by The Time as one of the 10 Ideas that will change the World. Despite of this current success, the movement also has its detractors. From a grassroot level approach, some people don’t feel comfortable renting out a car from their neighbour, nor would they lend  their own to anybody else. And if we look at it from a market perspective, others argue that this trend will have a huge impact within local and global economies. It’s easy: more sharing, less buying they say. What it is crystal clear is that, at the moment, it seems that Collaborative Consumption is not just a temporary trend but a solid concept growing further everyday.

Is this really a new era? Is hyper-consumption dying as we speak?

  • posted by business daily | 30 April 2011, 1:14,

    Yet if more people are doing business with each other it s the commercial reputation of a stranger not their influence that becomes incredibly important. Perhaps then they should account for those in their target audience that are likely to be the foundation of the secondary market of their products. Given how many brands are struggling to benefit from crowds the fact that consumers have taken matters into their own hands of course may be a windfall.


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