Why the Sharing Economy Matters

On 20 April 2015 by Richie Zamora
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The sharing community spans across all uses and goals. It’s based on the concept of sharing, and gives the power of the dollar back to resourceful people to connect and create their own economy that can seriously compete with the mainstream market.

 

Trouble in the economy has led to many people shying away from mainstream business models in favor of more creative solutions. People are willing to offer their belongings and time to others; and it’s opened a door to a new way of thinking about our economy. Money is still a driving force, but we are no longer restrained to the typical work day because that standard practice, which has been a foundation in this country, has failed us in recent years. A full work week does not bring with it financial security, and people are forced fill in the gaps on their own.

Companies like Lyft, Airbnb and Etsy have allowed individuals to utilize their assets and leverage them into a commodity. But the sharing economy goes beyond ridesharing and renting out your home. It’s incredibly easy to get involved because the concept is pretty straight forward and it’s driven by the very people who are participating. What these companies are offering is the avenue to make these connections.

Even without a car or home to rent out, you can still participate. Sites like taskrabbit.com have made it available for you to offer your services and time in a variety of ways. Participants are vetted and then free to assist others with anything from moving, handy work, cleaning, bike delivery, and basically anything that requires extra hands and some time.

Exchangeworks.co allows artists of all mediums to post and connect with the intention of facilitating trades and exchanges. Artists can exchange anything they can offer, and you’ll find that it’s about connecting the right people and forming a community that shares similar values.

The sharing community spans across all uses and goals. It’s based on the concept of sharing, and gives the power of the dollar back to resourceful people to connect and create their own economy that can seriously compete with the mainstream market.

It should come as no surprise that when options pop up on the scene that can challenge two major global markets (the hotel industry and the business of licensed taxi services), people respond.

By utilizing existing resources toward the goal of connecting the right people at the right time, the creators of these marketplaces are becoming a new class of entrepreneurs, getting themselves on the cover of Forbes. This is filling a need in an obsolete, impersonal, and hobbling system. The current tide works against the model for consumers that was used when we still had order in the private business sector. Now people are turning to each other. The needs and means are there, someone just needs to connect those dots.

In the creative community we are built on coming up with new ways to do things; to use our own abilities to our advantage while shaping the world around us. I think the lasting power of this is that it’s not a specific service or product, but a new way of organizing and resolving commerce. And this is only the beginning.

Richie Zamora

Richie Zamora is a Los Angeles-based writer of fiction and non-fiction. He is interested in the world of art, comics, film, literature, baseball, technology, and video games, along with the unusual habits of his two roommates who also happen to be cats.

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