This is according to Sharing is the New Buying, a research report on the growing collaborative economy that I co-authored with Vision Critical, a customer community software company. What we found was both confirming and surprising.
The acceptance in mature markets of used-good sharing, like eBay and Craigslist is well established, but in the new market sectors where we see Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Lending Club for peer-to-peer sharing of accommodations, transportation and crowd-funding, we saw a single digit adoption rate. What really piqued our interest, however, was finding that people indicated they intend to double their utilization of these sharing services within the next 12 months.
See what other startup mentors have to say about the sharing economy.
This growing collaborative economy isn’t limited to a single demographic. It was discovered that the sharing of pre-owned goods through online technologies, crosses demographic lines, even far into rural areas. Many attribute this movement to global recession, but we found that those who make over $100K a year were more likely to have used shared personal services than any other group.
The collaborative movement isn’t limited to sharing goods. There’s an increase in adoption of the Maker Movement, where people create their own goods, rather than buying them through traditional commercial channels. In the past 12 months, 9% of the population has used custom products. Another 9% intend to do so in the next year. More examples of people getting what they need from others.
What does this trend mean? It means people are using new technologies to access goods and services from each other. They’re acquiring and sharing things, including money, directly with each other, bypassing traditional corporations. The crowd is becoming functional and self-reliant. People can self-fund, make their own goods, share what they already have and provide specialized services to each other.