You know something’s superb when it comes under threat before most people fully understand what it even is. This particular it is a wonderful, relatively new, but ridiculously natural concept of the sharing economy. I prefer the other term for it—the collaborative economy. Either way, it’s a simple premise with huge implications that might directly affect your life. Read on to learn more and discover a couple billion dollar companies who are already going strong in the battle for a new modern existence.
Why Should I Care About the Sharing Economy?
Well, you should care because this goes way farther than the sharing equals caring mantra we were all taught in Kindergarten. That’s why I prefer to discuss the phenomenon as the collaborative economy. You as an individual provide your goods or services through established platforms, or bigger companies like those listed below, who make you available to your market. Consumers dig this because there is a recognizable brand that lends a certain amount of trust and credibility. Providers love it because they reach a broader audience who implicitly trusts their goods or services. It’s a win-win, and it’s making a huge dent in some traditional industries. Check out the players below to get a better idea of how you can get in on this movement.
Don’t Call a Taxi, Just Use Uber
This ride-sharing program is one of the biggest players in the collaborative economy. They’re a billion dollar company, and there’s currently legislation pending against their practices in more than one country. It’s seriously causing waves, which is partly why I love it.
You, as the consumer, download an app and order a ride. It’s that easy. Payment is handled through the app, so you don’t have to worry about a cash transaction with a stranger. A local driver, who has been vetted by Uber, answers your request, picks you up and takes you where you want to go. That’s it! Easy, right?
Well, that’s why they’re under fire. It is easy. It is logical, and mostly, works wonderfully! However, there is a distinct difference in working for yourself as an independent contractor who utilizes Uber as a platform; and someone who views themselves as an actual employee of Uber. See, when people take the sharing out of the equation, get too greedy and raise a stink, legislation starts, as in what’s happening in California. You also walk on fire when you threaten an industry who still heavily operates within a union structure, as the taxi cab drivers in France. So, start using Uber. They need our support.
DogVacay is for the Dogs . . . Literally
You love your pooch, right? That’s nice.
Then, wouldn’t it be great if you could go out on vacation whenever you like and rest assured knowing your beloved hound was being wonderfully cared for in an actual home (not a cage) by someone who genuinely loves animals (not just boarding them for money)? Yes, it would be great, and that’s why DogVacay exists.
Similarly to Uber, you sign up and search for a pet sitter in your area. You schedule and pay online, then drop off your hound. The site advertises free belly rubs. These guys understand how the sharing economy works. It comes down to people sharing what they have by utilizing the immense communication opportunities afforded to us all by the internet.
Terra, the Lawn Service App
These guys are newer and have just gone national in the US. They offer yard services and maintenance. Same app structure and digital payment. This company is different because, as opposed to traditional online directories, you don’t have to go quote hunting! You can get a simple, flat rate then order services. The yard crew gets your nickname, your address, and your order. You get a meticulously cared for lawn with a swipe of an app! How great is that?!
The magic is in the same premise; if the little guys all work together, everyone can share in the profits of modern commerce. It gives independence back to the worker, which is something most people can get behind.
Don’t Just Work! Upwork!
This, like many other freelancing platforms, gives a sole worker the ability to market their services globally. Many jobs these days don’t involve more than a computer and an internet connection, so remote positions are much more acceptable. Anything you can do from a computer, like writing or web design, you can do for clients all over the world. On the flip side, small business owners can get the best talent their budget can afford, even if their local area lacks that caliber of professionals.
Keep in mind, freelancing platforms are global. This is great for many reasons. First, you can bring in revenue from outside your local area, which inherently improves your local economy. Second, almost any professional imaginable is accessible through these platforms, making it easy for a business person to focus on their tasks and hire others when needed.
Poshmark Will Help You Stay Current and Look Great, Too!
Poshmark is a clothing trading/renting website. You sign up and can swap out your clothes with others on the platform. You can create a profile and connect socially with others who share your flare. This is an excellent alternative to the vicious shop/donate/shop/donate cycle that many fashion savvy people find themselves in. Poshmark takes care of that for you, all with the simple concept of sharing.
How to Get in on This
Evaluate what you do, what you like to do and what you can provide. Do a search for those keywords plus ways to make money. Do your due diligence, and make sure you’re not getting scammed, but mostly you’ll find an enormous amount of opportunities available to you. Whether you are working in the sharing economy or buying from it, this new concept can rock us back to our human foundations, resulting in a better world for everyone. Hope to see you all sharing and collaborating soon!
Anyone work collaboratively already? Let us know in the comments below!