Top Disruptive Businesses In the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy refers to move toward the free exchange of goods and services rather than the use of money to represent value. This harkens back to a time before civilization – when we would have made deals with one another by discussing what we could offer our friends, fellow tribesmen and women and business partners.
Money is more practical but it of course creates great inequality and countless other problems. But thanks to the internet, trade is back in a big way. That’s because it’s now possible to ask an entire community for goods and services from the comfort of your home. Got something you need done? Just check the app and see if there’s someone in the local area willing to do it in exchange for something you can do.
Some of the most innovative businesses in recent memory have been built on this notion. Here are a few of them…
Uber is a taxi company that does away with the taxis. The idea is that anyone can sign up and then offer lifts through the app and that users will then have the convenience of being able to choose their driver based on their fee and how far away from them. Bottom line is that getting a lift is now much cheaper and the taxi industry is quaking in its boots.
AirBnB is to hotels what Uber is to taxis. In other words, this is a tool that lets you find accommodation without paying over the odds for a hotel. Instead, you’re paying to stay in someone front room, their outhouse or their holiday home. And if you have some spare space yourself, there’s nothing to prevent you making a little money from that!
Couchsurfing takes this concept one step further by allowing users to invite people to stay on their couches completely for free! The only expectation is that they extend the same offer to other users and that way, they can guarantee they have a free place to stay as they travel anywhere in the world!
Schpock is a ‘bootsale app’ meaning that it allows you to make money by selling your old things that you don’t need any more to people in the local area. It’s a great way to make money from something small that you wouldn’t be able to sell elsewhere and it’s a great way to get cheap things. And you can even trade things directly, doing away with the need for cash!
In the Netherlands, a good example is Parkbee, a company that gives customers the opportunity to park their car on the parking of large corporates that are in general empty after 18.00 o’clock in the evening.
If you want to read more on disruption, entrepreneurship, innovation and new business models in the sharing economy and Parkbee (in Dutch) and other successful startups and scale-ups in Fintech for instance, order this book (you can reserve it prior to the launch on the 18th of April 2017 or buy it directly after that date). Or you can bookmark ‘English blogs’ on this site.