In this article we will be sharing with you a few truths about new ways of “Income Production” in the U.S (maybe better said, in the World) and what Americans started to call “Sharing Economy” just a couple years ago. The Economist has described this trend of new income production as a “boom that marks a striking new stage in a deeper transformation”. The fact is that using the now ubiquitous platform of the smartphones to deliver labor and services in a variety of new ways will challenge many of the fundamental assumptions of 20th century capitalism, from the nature of the firm to the structure of careers.
The sharing economy has many synonyms: tech-based capitalism, sharing marketplaces, collaborative consumption, access economy, collaborative economy, 1099 economy, and the list goes on and on.
In its simplest form, the sharing economy is composed of hundreds of online platforms that enable people to turn otherwise unproductive assets into income producing ones. These include their homes, cars, parking spots, clothes, consumer items, pets, hobbies, and many others.
In other words, it is the economic activity that involves individuals buying or selling usually temporary access to goods or services, especially as arranged through an online company or organization. As a result, the sharing economy has been a major disruptor to traditional industries such as hotels, the automotive industry, and real estate, among others. A major reason for this disruption has been the ease of access to marketplaces once typically controlled by large corporations. Some of the major players in the “sharing” or “access” economy space include companies such as Uber, Lyft and Airbnb, among others.
Internet startups that have embraced this new economy understand that consumers are much more interested in minimizing costs and increasing convenience than they are in traditional name brands. In many cases, consumers are not so much interested in the sharing aspect but the cost-effectiveness.
In the new sharing economy, these platforms act as intermediaries between two consumers. People providing these services in many ways are entrepreneurs or micro entrepreneurs. They’re more independent, more liberated, and a little more economically empowered.
The sharing economy is the fundamental shift from a scarcity principle to an abundance principle, and how we can capitalize on that abundance. Approximately 1 in 5 Americans have engaged in a sharing economy transaction. Of these, 86% stated that the sharing economy makes their lives more affordable. Cutting out the middleman (traditional brand businesses) has been great for entrepreneurs and self-starters. This creates new marketplaces where some folks can start making some money using the new technology and platforms, for now, mostly in the U.S. From customers’ old brand mentality to a more accessible (or price-driven) mentality, many business leaders and entrepreneurs believe this an economic revolution.
The “wave” turns millions of people into part-time entrepreneurs who can use their current assets to make money. For instance, someone with a fulltime job can still rent out their whole apartment or just a room using Airbnb and they can also use their car on Uber or Lyft to earn some hundreds of dollars a week making trips that they regularly make anyway as example. It at least does give the opportunity to self-starters and entrepreneurs to do this in a relatively short amount of time with little or no startup costs.
Just to have an idea, back in 2013, Forbes estimated that revenue coming from the sharing economy added $3.5 billion to people’s pockets that respective year. This was an increase of 25% over 2012. While you may have heard about AirBnb, Uber, Lyft or AirBnB, there are a number of other micro jobs that can be leveraged to generate side income. Keep updated visiting our website here, we are in pre-production of a pretty cool guide about it.