What do marketers mean by saying we are entering the SHARE ECONOMY? We have successfully (or not so successfully) moved to a SERVICE ECONOMY, but what is next? America has been transformed from an industrial economy to an economy that supports a service economy with a global reach. But, again, what is this share economy about?
I think the first inkling of this new economy started to appear before the 21st century when many consumers were not allowed to own the CD with purchase of a new program but were required to pay a fee to download the program onto a computer for a yearly fee. Maybe even 2 or 3 computers. Then, Voila! The tipping point was an introduction to the world of sharing ownership with others through online downloading of a computer program for a fee.
Although I was totally opposed to not having a little CD in my desk to retrieve immediately if my computer crashed, it became obvious that so many of the computer generations (Gen-Y and I-Gen) embraced sharing ….then streaming, and onward to a new world economic order.
This new world now includes Netflix arriving on the scene. Consumers can choose the programs they want to watch on a TV without commercials for a fee sent to Netflix, for example, and much more. We now have a full smorgasbord of options, with thousands of consumers sharing in the use of online content shaped into a special package that digitally arrives.
Fast forward, we see the popularity of time-share vacation properties, Airbnb around the globe, and shared ownership of cars. Uber is now trying to work out legal problems surfacing with drivers as employees. Are they employees or proprietors of their own making—taking part in an economy with Uber that is governed by shared resources and services in which both may collaboratively profit?
- Are you onboard or opposed?
- How are you participating in the relatively new share economy and service economy?
- What do you foresee as the next share economy possibilities? Problems? Solutions?