Collaborative companies with the highest brand recognition are some of the giants in the world. Sharing economy, a new type of viable business model based on the concept of shared resources in decentralized marketplaces, is a leading trend which has the power to stay for the long-term.

People are directly serving each other for their needs rather than being served by companies or some traditional means. Geo-location, social and mobile technologies have impacted every consumer segment of the economy. People can use their own car for transportation service or apartment as lodging service to uncover a new value from existing assets. This all is leveraged by a reliable, user-friendly and an automated transactional environment on the internet. Online platforms provide a large base for sharing products or services regardless of geographical constraints keeping the overhead low. Along with making consumer’s lives easier, the new collaborative economy has provided additional elements of social responsibility and frugality too.

Understanding that collaborative commerce is way beyond the arena of tag sales and bartering, envisioning a future of success and growth in the collaborative economy, big brands are already planning to gain a foothold through investments and partnerships.

According to a report:

  • There are 17 billion dollar companies involved in the collaborative economy which provided jobs to nearly 60,000 employees and received a sum of $15 billion in funding.
  • By 2025, five major collaborative economy players categorized as products, services, transportation, space and finance alone could generate a massive revenue of $335 billion.

Societal Forces That Propel Collaborative Economy

  • Urbanization with enlarged population concentration elevates the desirability of location-based services and hence sharing.
  • Growing awareness in environmental sustainability encourages people to cut down the impact through reusing goods via sharing rather than buying new.
  • Trending freelance employment finds coherence with fluid relationships with goods, transportation or office spaces to share, swap or rent out.

Guidelines To Join Collaborative Economy

  • To be on-demand, businesses must develop compelling and connected apps.
  • A significant investment to mobilize a company’s application portfolio is required.
  • A superlative back-end technology to address consumer service, social and Geo-location requirements for meaningful customer interactions is required.
  • Technology to gain insights into consumer behavior to deliver critical big data analysis should be incorporated when a company experiences high growth and demand.
  • Apps should be integrated with CRM for personalization, additional data and service features to underpin customer relationships.

Is Automation The Next Phase Of Collaborative Economy?

In the 2001 recession, the internet era experienced a shake-out. Next was the social media era which became a low-cost channel due to the economic downturn. In 2008, the recession gave birth to the collaborative economy era when people struggled to get things cheaply and stay back home. In the next anticipated recession, people and businesses will aspire to adopt technologies which will reduce costs and enhance efficiency.

The overlapping waves of two eras apparently interact with each other. The collaborative economy era will shortly transition to the autonomous world era marked by AI, robots, autonomous transport, breakthroughs in biotechnology and advanced materials, machine learning and augmented reality, predictably around 2021 where:

  • Cars will become self-driving and in the ride-sharing category, professional drivers will have to up-skill themselves and find a new occupation.
  • Flying drones will take over delivery services and courier companies will be superseded by robots.
  • AI bots will perform the tasks of online service providers and online workers will have to specialize in robot management, human-based design, and community skills.
  • Home automation will allow hosts to offer hospitality in their absence where they will be able to manage more properties and guests will get a personalized experience.

The Autonomous Shift And It’s Potential Impact On People

  • Robots are networked to learn and process faster than humans. The challenge is that only some and not all humans will be able to up-skill contrary to other Socio-economic revolutions. This would lead to a drastic increment in income inequality.
  • Having disruptive technologies at hand, nations should start preparing for changes in their economy. For the sects of people where human labor is the rudimental driver, humans will have to redefine their purpose. This would cause higher structural rates of unemployment.
  • The automation phase would entail a guaranteed income to cover the basic needs of people pertaining to food, shelter, and clothes universally. For anything else, they will have to earn it.
  • As policymakers will strive to generate the revenue, corporations that will make profits from such technologies would be taxed for the sake of societal benefits.
  • As robots will advance and be programmed to self-code, children would actively engage in learning to code as a mandatory subject to manage robots in the future. This would cause an upsurge in the demand for technical education for the future workforce to maintain economic competitiveness and development.
  • Soft skills like psychology, humanity, arts, sports, entertainment etc. would rise as prominent skills to acquire in humans. This would lead to the creation of new kinds of jobs that are less repetitive and more creative.

As robots will take over rote and mundane jobs, humans who will be exceptionally talented to solve complex problems would thrive as the fittest. Those who would not benefit could end up having low paid jobs with uncertainty despite the rise in GDP.