Sharing economy, can it be applied to any market?
When we consider the concept of “sharing economy”, probably we immediately think of companies like Uber or Airbnb. Sharing economy means sharing resources that had previously been bought only for own consumption, but they are turned into a value of production, taking the advantage of the current demand, To share some personal assets like a car or a room at home with the intention of increasing our income is not something totally new. In fact, we can find several examples of this kind of business in the past, but in a very low scale and in a reduced area. The innovation at present, is that it can be done more extensively, or in a wider area beyond your neighborhood or town. This is possible due to contemporary technology development that use online platforms and a peer-to-peer networks. This is the reason of success of companies like e-Bay (who started in the mid-90’s in the product sales area), Airbnb (2008), Uber (2009), Cabify (2011), the used clothes’ sale net called Tradesy (2012), Uber Eats (2014) or Glovo (2015). We are facing a real new business model!
Many things are being changed with this recent line of commercial activity. A Company´s bureaucracy seems to be unnecessary for certain types of trade. We can avoid renting big and expensive offices, a large staff of employees is not a requirement… car fleets, warehouses, huge amount of taxes and trade unions, could be part of the history in the short term.
This arises numerous questions: Can we imagine this business model in other markets? Can we think about a restaurant or a bakery chain where independent cooks provide daily dishes from a net of kitchens? How about services like education or health, or even in market research?