menu

Co-Sharing Is Changing The Social Economy [Need To Know: SXSWi]

Co-Sharing Is Changing The Social Economy [Need To Know: SXSWi]
Advertising

PSFK is following five trends during SXSWi, we chat with a catalyst in this area who says that "co-sharing" is based on the desire to exchange social capital, more so than money.

Dan Gould
  • 3 march 2012

As we all begin to look forward to the Interactive section of South By South West in March, PSFK has identified five key trends that readers should be monitoring during the festival. One of these trends we have coined ‘Co-Sharing.’

Today, a growing number of people are trading items and favors between each other. Digital technology allows anyone to find an object or service they need, when they want it, where they want it. Rather than finding these products and services at retailers or from large corporations, these items are often found in the hands of other people—sometimes neighbors, sometimes like minds a great distance away.

To explore this idea further, we spoke with Daniel Hengeveld, the technical co-founder of NeighborGoods.

Everything and anything today is being lent and traded. The product-service economy is growing to a level where a significant number of people are maximizing the use of their possessions by lending them out to other people through disintermediated channels. What do you think is driving this trend of ‘co-sharing’?

The growth in ‘co-sharing’ is driven by obvious economic factors and and perhaps less-obvious social factors. Airbnb is an obvious example of success driven by economic factors. People love the idea that they can simply take a high-value item of theirs, like an apartment, and turn it into money.

There’s another aspect to the growth in this kind of behavior beyond the financial transaction, however. This is the social transaction, and services that focus on social transactions are a fairly new development…. but what do I mean by “social transaction?”

Think about the things in your home. What do you have that you would want to rent to another person, possibly someone you’ve never met? Maybe there are a few items, big-ticket things like cars — but would you rent a video game, a book, a kitchen tool?

To take an example from my own life, I keep a small stable of bicycles. I can only ride one at a time, and visitors to Los Angeles often want to ride around the neighborhood, or join in on a group bike ride with friends. I wouldn’t feel comfortable charging someone rent for my inexpertly-maintained 1980s bicycles, but I’m happy to lend them out in exchange for the social capital that I earn. In other words, I *want* people to ride them because I like being the guy that helps you out with your bike problem. It makes me feel good and in a practical sense means that someone in my extended social circle is more likely to lend me something I need in the future.

So, to circle back around and answer the question directly, I think that the underlying force behind the growth in “co-sharing” is this desire to exchange social capital, more so than the desire to make money.

Peer to Peer Exchange raises the overall value of the entire community of members by offering more choice, experience and opportunities that meet an ever changing set of expectations and needs. In your opinion, what are the next areas we could see big change in through peer-to-peer collaboration?

Not surprisingly, I think the social transactions I mentioned in the last question are the key here. Services that encourage that behavior will be the ones to spearhead the next wave of peer-to-peer collaboration. At NeighborGoods we’re big believers in this — as a matter of fact the next version of our service (currently in closed alpha) is heavily informed by both the concept of the social transaction and the belief that it can be used to encourage people to collaborate more effectively.

Another key point, and one that is underrepresented in peer-to-peer collaboration services (probably because it’s quite hard to get right!) is that there’s a lot of unrealized value in transactions between people that already know each other, or are separated by only one or two degrees. Earlier I asked you to think of the items in your home, and compare what you would rent versus what you would lend. Now think of everyone you’re friends with on Facebook. You might rent your apartment or car to just about anyone that seemed reliable, but what about your cousin, or your significant other’s friend from college? Does it seem right to make every sharing transaction about money, even if you’re socially connected in some way to your partner in the exchange?

At NeighborGoods, we’re convinced that the first services that really convince people that social capital has real value and get goods moving between people with loose social ties will be at the core of the next wave of growth in this area.

What talks and events should PSFK readers be looking out for in Austin to continue following this trend of ‘Co-Sharing’?

Here are some SXSWi panels and talks that I think will be interesting and relevant:

What Makes Asset Sharing Platforms Thrive?

Panel consisting of extremely knowledgeable people in this space. Reading between the lines of this session will provide the answer to “why is co-sharing growing and what’s next?”

Credits Coins Cash: Social Currency & Finance 2.0

Collaborative consumption and alternative currency go hand-in-hand, as they are both alternatives to mainstream consumer culture.

Free Coffee, Bad Apples & the Future of Currency

The man behind “Jonathan’s Card” — the shared Starbucks gift card that was in the news in 2011. Again, I think alternative currency is a big deal.

Thanks Daniel!

NeighborGoods/@thedaniel

Advertising
Trending

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World's Largest Open-Air Gallery

Culture
Asia Yesterday

Safe Drivers Rewarded In Japan With Free Coffee

Driving Barista is a new app that encourages Japanese motorists to put their phones down as they drive

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Michael Kors Has Designed Their Own Instant Camera

In a partnership with Fuji, the limited edition Instax Mini 70 comes in an exclusive metallic gold color

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Health Yesterday

Manage Your Emotional Health Through Your Phone

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has created a new iOS app meant to help patients track mental progress and set goals

Food Yesterday

Delete Food Pics Off Of Instagram To Feed The Hungry

Land O'Lakes and Feeding America are donating meals for every picture of a meal taken off of the social platform

Related Expert

James George

Interactive Storyteller

Design & Architecture Yesterday

This Shape-Shifting Pod Could Be The Future Of The Cubicle

MIT and Google have designed a new form of work enclosure meant to offer privacy in open-office layouts

Advertising Yesterday

Billboard Spies On People As They Walk By

To promote the movie "Snowden," the advertisement broadcasts information on passersby without their knowledge

Fashion Yesterday

Anti-Pollution Scarf Helps Cyclists Ride Through Cities

An innovative system filters pollutants and its accompanying app monitors quality of the air

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 27, 2016

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs Yesterday

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Yesterday

Volvo’s Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

The fully-automated vehicles are part of a development project to help improve safety for workers

Op-Ed Yesterday

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Fashion Yesterday

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Yesterday

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

No search results found.