Sharing Economy in Your Daily Life

May 16, 2019

Every day, new and sophisticated websites, and apps are ripping up traditional business models.

Whether it’s hailing a taxi, finding somewhere to stay on your travels or arranging help at homes, services such as Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit will connect you to people who have the skills to help you out.

Sharing economy companies, especially peer-to-peer companies such as Uber and Airbnb are giving regular people more control in every industry and due to its popularity, companies all over the world are making it fast, easy and cheap to get goods and services.

What exactly is the sharing economy?

Everybody believes in the hustle and no one wants to own things anymore, they want to save money and space by sharing them. The sharing economy is the perfect solution for those wanting to save and those wanting to make extra cash.

In this peer-to-peer network system, companies use online platforms to connect people who have something to offer (a ride home, spare bedroom…) with people in need of that exact thing.

Think of it like eBay but for parking spots, storage space and a lot more. Sellers are ordinary people who get paid when someone uses their services. Buyers save money and time thanks to the easy booking processes and streamlined technology.

Instead of waiting around for estimates or returned phone calls, you just have to make a few clicks on your computer. The online rating and review system allows you to know exactly what to expect from the seller you choose.

Examples of the Sharing Economy

1. Apartment/House Renting

One of the major apartment or house sharing platform is Airbnb.

Airbnb:

A few years ago, sleeping in a stranger's home instead of a hotel was something that never occurred to most people. But now, it is one of the trendiest ways to lodge with about 4 million listings to choose from.

You can rent an entire house on the accommodation-share website for less than a hotel room most of the time. You can even rent a British castle if you’re feeling like it.

2. Ride-sharing and Carsharing

Ridesharing offers the benefit of car ownership without any of the drawbacks such as paying for gas, insurance, and maintenance. Uber and blablacar are major ridesharing platforms.

Uber/blablacar

Unlike other sharing economy companies, which thrive off the ability to offer cheaper products, Uber’s greatest advantage is convenience. It has a user-friendly app which allows you to see where your driver is and it also allows you to make payments without any hassle.

Blablacar is another sharing economy company. Their mission statement gives you an idea of the kind of company they are.

"We imagine a fairer, more open world of travel, where people are better connected and independent."

The idea for the company came when a man who was trying to get home to his family saw the sheer number of people driving alone. It hit him that all those empty seats could be the beginning of a new travel network.

3. Wwoofing

At first, this might sound a bit like the noise a dog makes. But it is actually an acronym for “worldwide workers on organic farms” and it is actually a global cooperative system that connects organic, permacultural or biodynamic farmers with a volunteer workforce.

Both the farmer and the woofer benefits. The farmer gets a curious, excited workforce wishing to learn about the operation of small, sustainable farms, and woofers in exchange for their labor, often receive free or reduced room and a hands-on approach to learning the ins and outs of farming.

4. Fablabs

Fab Lab concept is an original idea of Neil Gershenfeld.

Gershenfeld realized the potential of creating a network of small workshops, containing a collection of commercially available fabrication machines run by computers, “which enables everyone to make almost anything."

Fab Labs are available as a community resource, offering open access for individuals as well as scheduled access for programs.

5. Co-working spaces

Co-working lets you share the cost of office rent, utilities, storage, mail, and office supplies with other professionals.

It is particularly useful for freelancers, sole proprietors, and very small businesses that don't have huge inventories requiring lots of storage space.

Traditional workplaces can be expensive but co-working spaces allow freelancers and solopreneurs to work in a dynamic office environment at a relatively lost cost. It also provides a social experience that puts people in close contact with professionals who have complementary talents.

6. Knowledge sharing

There is a lot of knowledge sharing platform. So, if you’ve any knowledge or skill that you’re willing to share, the sharing economy can help. YouTube allows you to showcase your knowledge/talent.

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