The sharing economy is here to stay. Be it sharing of time, sharing of equipment, sharing of vehicles, sharing of knowledge or sharing of skills.We have seen the rise of on-demand crowdsourcing and crowd sharing platforms from logistics to IT projects. We have seen the rise of Freelancer.com, Uber, Lalamove (formerly known as EasyVan) and Trip.
Essentially the concept of the crowdsourcing model is simple from a macro perspective, but the key to a successful platform is to ensure that the providers of the service stay within the service level expected from the site. The need to create mechanisms and processes to manage the behavior of the crowd-sourced providers is what sets these platforms apart, and hence their lofty business valuations.
You may have heard the term the “Uber of Everything”, but why is this new crowd-sharing model becoming so popular? Mainly due to both pragmatic and ideological grounds, we are increasingly finding that buying a whole item for limited use in a day is not cost effective. For example, purchasing a car requires capital expenditure which affects cash flow. But it fulfills the need of on-demand transportation. But what if you could share your car or a car with 100 other people and still have the on-demand requirement? Suddenly you have both fulfilled your need of on-demand transport and lowered your capital outlay.
This model has since spread across to everything under the sun, from IT services to logistics. But the model’s success is going to continue to expand into other areas as the allure of both “on–demand”, “service” and “lowering capital outlay” are attractive options. Increasingly it will no longer be about possessions, but more about services that maximize the utilization of the equipment.
The future is about helping other businesses lower their need for fixed costs, helping people access services and equipment that normally is out of reach and about maximizing the time and equipment.
So the question for your business is this, how will your business add value to an increasingly sharing society? How will you provide the services to survive in the sharing economy? Because it’s no longer about products and supply. It’s about services and flexibility.