It only takes a small observation to notice that we are becoming more and more reliant on services that allow us to share amongst ourselves. If we think about some of today’s fastest growing apps and services, many of them seem to be dependant upon sharing.
The app Uber came out of nowhere and is gaining popularity and headlines across the globe. The app provides a taxi service for people who need a lift. If you have a car and a driving licence and are in the area then you can become one of their drivers. The service has caused a lot of commotion across the globe. Last year taxi drivers in France were slating the service in the news because it is stealing their fares and they are not paying any taxi licensing fees.
Another service that seems to have grown in leaps and bounds over the past couple of years is Airbnb. This service let’s you rent out a house, a flat or a room in someone’s home rather than staying at a hotel. The service is usually cheaper than b&bs and hotels and offers the guest some company if they are travelling alone.
The group-funding site Shareagift is also seeing users flood their site looking to collect money for all sorts of things from charitable causes to birthday parties and wedding gifts. Group-funding is becoming more and more popular with people being able to achieve goals together that they wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach on their own.
Shared workspaces in offices are also becoming more popular, especially within companies who offer part time contracts. These shared workspaces mean that companies save money because they don’t have to have a computer and a desk for each person working there.
The popularity of these services confirms the move towards collaborative consumption with people wanting to share rather than having individual ownership. We are already beginning to see shifts away from owning our own means of transport. Boris bikes in London are a perfect example of people no longer needing to own a bicycle.
In certain areas of France you can hire keys, which allow you to drive a number of electric cars. You just drive to your destination and when you are done someone else can hop in and drive off. Last year Paris launched an electric scooter rental scheme for those who don’t wish to use rental bikes to get around the capital. This is part of a plan to try and reduce the number of cars in the city and if it succeeds it could be rolled out in other major cities across the world including London.
If this trend carries on, eventually the majority of products and services that we use will become shared and we will no longer see the need to own bikes, cars or even homes. The world is changing so get ready to become a lot more generous!