Sharing Really is Caring - Everything You Need to Know About The Sharing Economy


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We love being part of the sharing economy, so we're taking some time to explain what it's all about!

What is the Sharing Economy?

In recent times, you’ve probably heard a lot of conversation around ‘The Sharing Economy’. In fact, it’s becoming a pretty hard concept to avoid, what with companies like Uber and Airbnb on the verge of world domination! There’s pretty much no denying that it’s about to become an inseparable part of our economy as a whole. So you may be asking yourself, what’s the deal? What’s at the heart of this sharing economy we are hearing so much about? What actually is it and what does it mean?

Put very simply, in what is called the sharing economy or ‘collaborative consumption’, owners rent something they are not using, such as a car, bicycle, house (or, in Fillit’s case, an unused space), to a stranger in need of these peer-to-peer services. The inevitable uncertainty of handing over your car or house keys to a stranger is made easier by the transparency of the transaction.

The idea of borrowing a ladder from your neighbour, who then pops around for a few tea bags in return is not new to us. In fact, we’ve been borrowing, lending and sharing for centuries! What’s new is the technology which we now see facilitating and formulating these exchanges.

That’s all fine and dandy, but why should we care?

Finally, people have a way to satisfy their desire to work on their own terms. The sharing economy has strengthened relationships between consumers and sharing providers for the better. If you ask us, that’s definitely something worth caring about!

Why we love the sharing economy and why you should too 

Aside from the fact that it allows our beloved FIllit to exist, there are so many great things about the sharing economy. Technology has reduced transaction costs, which now makes sharing assets cheaper and easier than ever. Not only that, but it also makes such transactions possible on a wider scale. Think about it, before the power of these new technologies renting physical assets was possible, but it was usually a lot more trouble than it was worth.

People can share resources, collaborate, connect to other creatives, express themselves and expand the reach of goods and services - often times with the click of a button! What’s great is it allows us to have access to items and services we want without owning. Essentially, it’s convenience and experience at the lowest cost. Take some Fillit spaces as an example. Twenty years ago, how likely was it that you would be able to experience a luxurious castle or hire a cinema completely to yourself? We're gonna go out on a limb and say pretty unlikely!  

Sharing reduces vast amounts of waste. Which makes it not only practical, but good for the environment as well! Think of a power washer – you may only need to use this a couple of times.  Instead of splashing out, why not just use someone else’s and then give it back? Saving you money, and doing your bit for the environment!

As well as reducing waste and increasing access, the sharing economy encourages community relations.Take the Australian company Streetbank for example. The company connects communities through a platform where members in a neighbourhood can share and swap goods, time or skills. It boosts a sense of community and morale, plus it enables users to meet other people they might not have before!

 For example, look at the company Streetbank. Originating in Australia but spreading across the world, Streetbank connects communities by providing a platform where members of a neighbourhood can share and swap goods, time or skills. It encourages a sense of community spirit, and you may meet people through it that you’ve never even seen before! 

What's driving the trend?

Fundamentally what’s driving this trend is data. Most of these ventures would not be viable businesses, certainly not on a large scale, without leveraging a platform and a foundation of big data. Companies within the sharing economy don’t just represent a new way of thinking or new services, but rather a new way to use data effectively to provide services to people when and where they want them.

To sum up

 All in all, the sharing economy has given us access to an array of goods and services that were previously unattainable. More often than not, this brings with it a better level of service over direct ownership. Rachel Botsman, author of ‘What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live’, has valued the consumer peer-to-peer rental market at around 26 billion dollars. That’s roughly 24 billion euro. So it's safe to say the Sharing Economy is here, it’s growing, and it won’t go away!

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