How Sharing Will Save the World
How Sharing Will Save the World
The Sharing Economy. It’s a term you’ve likely heard sometime in the past year – but the concept as a whole is something individuals are less familiar with. When we say “Sharing” here, it’s much different than what people are traditionally used to – sharing in this sense means the spreading of services among numerous individuals to minimize costs and maximize the use out of any single product.
If you’re unfamiliar with this trend as a whole, you may view it as a passing fad – something that doesn’t have any real world, long term impact. The reality is quite the opposite – this movement has the potential to completely alter the world and how we process goods and services.
The Sharing Economy as a whole is a relatively new movement, so it’s important to understand its origins before explaining the impact it will have on our future. Sharing goods and services in a manner has always been something humans have aimed to achieve. However in the past, there was an issue of spreading the information, time, location, and most importantly – doing this efficiently. The inability to efficiently allocate these services and target them at the individuals who needed them has made most large-scale sharing services rather…clunky. This changed drastically with the wide-spread use of mobile internet and the ability to individually track consumers based on location. The rise of the smart phone was the tool that the sharing economy needed to take off.
To explain why this is so important, we’re going to use the ride-sharing service, Uber, as an example. With Uber, it was a two tier functionality; operators, and the consumers. The operators are often individuals who do the service full-time, or individuals who are simply traveling between locations. Take for example an individual who is traveling roughly an hour between cities on personal business – say to visit a partner. This person can upload their schedule and route, all the while listing that they’re looking for fair. At the time of their departure, if there is another individual – a consumer – who wants to travel between similar locations, the service will automatically pair the two people together, and set the fare rate. What this effectively does is take one car off the road, allowing two individuals to share the cost of the commute – in almost no time at all.
On a small scale, this seems minor, almost silly. However, imagine a world where this was how everyone functioned – where individuals would trade perhaps maybe 10% of their time and convenience (Though arguably, with so many less cars on the road you’d travel faster) for drastic decreases in personal cost? The potential outcomes are huge; the maximum efficient allocation of resources in this scenario cuts down on traffic, personal costs, environmental impact, and helps connect individuals as a society – and this is just if we’re speaking about cars. Imagine this with housing, food resources, personal goods – the potential is endless. We’ve seen this replicated with AirBnB, Bike Sharing Services, private class and individual trading – services that are often either sharable, or temporarily available distributed to individuals who are interested in using a good or service while the owner isn’t using it.
Likewise, at Share Your Office, we’re trying to contribute to the Sharing Movement. We’ve seen this process done for homes, transportation, and numerous other goods and services – but so far never work space. Right now we’re campaigning for people to consider sharing their office space. Individuals who have private rooms at their home, office, work space – even desks and meeting rooms, these areas can be subleased anywhere from a day to a month at a time. People are hungry for space – affordable space – if we can spread the idea that people can share their work space and drastically cut down on their overhead costs, we’ll be able to see a lot more small businesses be able to take off.