sharing economy

We-Commerce Pushes Past Just Uber & Airbnb

The sharing economy, or model of peer to peer borrowing and lending, shows no sign of abating anytime soon and in fact continues to demonstrate its mettle as not only economic engine but bedrock of the future of society.

No longer can skeptics and the ill informed just point to Airbnb and Uber to describe the collaborative groundswell shaking up our world as disruptions continue to shake out across industry and region. With companies like Didi Chuxing (China) and Ola (India), valued now at over $1 billion the sharing economy is clearly a powerful economic force and global reality.

Among the latest phenomena is the Library of all Things model. Within this school of thought, the sharing economy will include “Tools, rides, homes sports and camping equipment, board games, and children’s toys, in the same way libraries free you from the burden of owning your own books,” says Lawrence Alvarez, co-founder of The Toronto Tool Library.

Alvarez, who is crowdfunding to launch The Sharing Depot, Canada’s first Library of Things which will offer all the above and more, strongly believes the sharing economy is set to become completely embedded in society.

And he is not alone as noted here in past blogs in the form of global research from various think tanks and leading consulting firms on the topic, in my book We-Commerce, and in the spate of traditional economy announcements in the space just this year alone. (I.e. GM $500 million in Lyft, Ford new leasing models and autonomous car push)

As the world continues to palpably shift from the me to the we, it will become rapidly apparent that the collaborative economy is no longer just about cheap and innovative rides and lodging, but rather a harbinger of the type of globally and digitally connected world we can all look forward to ahead.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce released in December 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Sharing Economy

Part 3: Collaborative Consumption Not Just for StartUps Any Longer

On the heels of major announcements by auto sector giants GM and Ford getting into the sharing economy game with GM investing $500 million in Lyft and Ford announcing a shared leasing model, the aerospace sector followed suit today with Airbus announcing a new partnership with Uber.

The new Airbus partnership with sharing economy unicorn Uber is part of an experiment that would allow Uber users to hail copters, as well as other forms of transportation.

The recently-formed Airbus Ventures will operate with $150 million commitment to “identify and invest in the most visionary entrepreneurs in the global aerospace ecosystem,” Airbus said in a release.

This new tie up will allow Airbus to provide on-demand transportation service using its H125 and H130 helicopters. According to Airbus, the partnership will help carve out “a new business model for helicopter operators to access a broader customer base.”

With this news, it is clear that the sharing economy is no longer a blip or fad, but rather a pervasive economic engine that is here to stay. And one that is at the front lines of business innovation and disruption.

As the line between sharing economy companies and traditional businesses continues to blur, it is likely that collaborative consumption will continue to move away from being compartmentalized and toward a center of business strategy and innovation. This will be similar to the evolution we saw with technology and digital strategies over the last decade, and what we are also currently seeing with the new purposeful business movement.

With a clear footprint into traditional industries ranging from transportation to lodging to aerospace, retail and auto, 2016 seems poised to be the year WE-Commerce explodes as the visceral shift from the singular me to the collective we evolves into a powerful new economic paradigm.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Wecommerce book Sharing Economy

 

CES 2016 And The New Areas Of Technology

CES 2016 And The New Areas Of Technology

As CES 2016 ramps up, many new areas of technology are on the horizon, all with the idea of sharing on the go at their core.

This type of mobile technology and connection will only fuel the growth of sharing economy companies who leverage the power and growing accessibility of tech to continue to create disruptions that make the world a better place.

Proof of this major shift is the announcement in late 2015 that the Consumer Electronics Association would be hence forth known as the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The name change, CEO Gary Shapiro said, reflected the ongoing development of the organization and the companies it aims to represent.

Car makers, social media companies, and sharing economy companies, Shapiro said, are part of the membership and presenters at its events these days. These companies include BMW, Expedia, Google, Lyft, Netflix, Pandora, Snapchat, and Uber. “Look at our leadership,” he said. “It’s really spread out dramatically, reflecting the dynamism of this new economy based around the Internet and wearables.”

Consequently, The Internet of All Things or iOt movement will make a splash at this years CES to figure out how to leverage tech to further expand the power of the sharing economy. A tectonic shift within an event once purely focused on gadgetry and electronics.

internet-of-things-concept-illustration

Image via wordstream.com

August, a company centered around the future of home security tech is at the forefront of this trend. Here’s what their CEO Jason Johnson who will be heading some of the major discussions on this topic had to say:

“Traditionally the lock on our doors has been designed to keep people out. We have a philosophy that, if we can make a really good access system, a different kind of lock and security for the front door, it could be used not just to keep people out but to let them in – a kind of different paradigm to what a lock is. Our vision is, if we do that really well, then when I get home from work tonight, my dog will have been walked, my groceries delivered, my UPS packages delivered, my house cleaned – maybe there’s fresh flowers on my dining room table, my dry cleaning has been delivered and it’s hanging in my closet, my dirty clothes have been taken away.”

It’s easy to see how these principles could be applied to other sharing economy models like Airbnb and TaskRabbit, by pushing our economy’s most vital currency of trust to new thresholds. Many of the iOt super sessions this week on the topics of technology, entrepreneurship and commerce will explore these exciting new areas of disruptive innovation.

It will be fascinating to watch as the conference unfolds to see what new sharing economy models lurk on the horizon. What’s most interesting however, is the obvious power of WeCommerce as the age of collaborative consumption continues to leave no area untouched with its reach and potential.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

Wecommerce book Sharing Economy

 

Sharing Economy Wecommerce

3 People who Inspired me to Write We-Commerce Book

It’s our choice. It’s up to each and every one of us together to live and change for the House of WE. WE can build a better world out of the ashes of creative destruction. We can choose purpose over profit, passion and artistry over productivity, elegance over efficiency, slow food over fast food. Bigger is better is dead. White is the new green. Quality of life is the new American Dream. The economy of engagement is the new Made in the USA. Hanging on to a crumbling status quo will not make you safe. It’s already too late. You can’t stop the forces of change once they are in motion. Watch for the signs of the new world order unfolding, and adjust accordingly. Become a connoisseur of CULToure. Read the handwriting on the wall. Be the handwriting on the wall. Adapt to the demands of Creative Darwinism. Become an artist of life. Grow your own. Be a true original. Unite, destroy, create, sustain, imagine a better world and do one thing every day to make your House of WE a reality. Do it for the many, not the few, and in collective cooperation. Make friends with the unknown. Stand up. Stand out. Let go of the drama. Enter the 5th Dimension and then invite your friends over for a home cooked meal. Be open. Be flexible. Be agile. Dance. WE are all starting from scratch, starting today. This chance may not come again in our lifetime. Here are 3 people who inspired me to write this book.

  1. Andy Warhol as he invented the sharing economy driving notion of everybody having the chance to become famous for 15 minutes. (Also because he said he wanted to die with his blue jeans on #whatawaytogo)

sharing economy andy warhol

  1. Steve Jobs because he invented the age of experience we are living in today that the new #weconomy is built upon. Apple creating not just stellar products but the brand experiences that create new passion, was the gateway to the bespoke detail today’s sharing economy thrives upon.

sharing economy steve jobs

  1. Jim Morrison as he was among the world’s greatest storytellers ever and showed how a song could be an immersive experience through the collision of incomparable lyrics, performance and sound. Jim was an early pioneer of using omni channeled creative approaches to drive the level of brand immersion today’s sharing economy consumers demand.

Jim-Morrison sharing economy

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

PS – You can download a FREE chapter of  We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy here! 

Free Chapter Sharing Economy

 

Sharing Economy Frank Rose

I Think of Business as a Craft, not an Art (Frank Rose)

Frank Rose is an award winning author and senior fellow at Columbia University in New York City. Frank was among the first to recognize the age of immersion that would drive the age of WeCommerce by marrying the physical and digital worlds in ways that create groundbreaking innovations and experiences.

Frank is one of the Wecons highlighted in Billee Howard’s book WeCommerce. You can read more about the book on the launch page and here is our Q&A with Frank.

Billee: Do you believe that technology today, and the sharing economy is bringing us closer together and making us more caring and connecting, or just alienating us from one another even further?

Frank: If Uber is an example of the sharing economy, then sharing and caring might not have all that much in common. Look, I believe that everything is constantly in flux, and yet nothing really changes. People are constantly talking, often in a negative context, about how digital technology is changing the way we think. Well, everything changes the way we think, but I don’t think digital technology—or any other—really changes anything fundamental.

The human species is programmed (metaphorically speaking) to have certain needs and desires and to respond to stimuli in certain ways, and technology either accommodates that or it doesn’t. Google isn’t making us stupid—it’s augmenting our brains in the same way that written language did thousands of years ago. Facebook isn’t making us lonely,—it’s just giving us another excuse to wallow in the existential angst of loneliness, and to comfort ourselves with the thought that it’s all technology’s fault and not our own. And before that, the telephone and the telegraph—well, don’t get me started.

Billee: Do you think of business as an art?

Frank: I think of business as a craft, not an art. Art exists for its own sake; craft is artistic creativity applied in pursuit of some goal. A beautiful lamp. A smoothly functioning corporation. A brand that speaks to people in some deep way.

Billee: How would you describe the role that disruption is playing in business today?

Frank: Change is the nature of the universe. There’s a natural human tendency to resist change because we want reassurance. Even as we seek novelty, we crave stability. But at the most fundamental level it’s not there. This is why earthquakes are so unsettling.

Frank Rose

Change is the only constant we will ever know. So the only way to survive is to embrace it. It’s not about disruption for its own sake. It’s about seeing, and seeking opportunities for disruption—opportunities that exist and are going to be seized, regardless of whether you embrace them or not. It’s disrupt or be disrupted. But this is nothing new—it’s always been like that. The history of business is the history of disruption. That’s why we no longer have the Pony Express—though Wells Fargo did manage the transition rather nicely.

Billee: Can you name a CEO that exemplifies creative reinvention?

Frank: At the moment I’m extremely taken with Burberry. Angela Ahrendts, who recently left to head up the Apple stores, became CEO in 2006 and immediately set about reinventing a 150-year-old brand that had clearly lost its way, lost its meaning, lost all sense of itself. My favorite story about her is that shortly after she took over she called a meeting of all the top execs from around the world—and not one of them showed up wearing Burberry!

Like Steve Jobs at Apple, Ahrendts cut back a bloated product line and put all product design in the hands of a single person—Jony Ive at Apple, Christopher Bailey at Burberry. After cutting away everything except the iconic trench coat the company was founded on, Bailey—who’s now CEO—gradually expanded into a full-fledged luxury line. But unlike many other luxury goods companies, Burberry’s mystique is grounded in something real—in British tailoring and craftsmanship, which the company’s marketing celebrates single-mindedly. It’s not just expensive—it’s expensive for a reason. This is something millennials in particular can understand.

Billee: What do you see ahead for media, given the current disruption going on in that industry?

Frank; Well, the media industry is totally different, and still changing in ways that can’t entirely be predicted. Advertising as we’ve known it is clearly not going to survive, and that puts all ad-supported media at risk. And media is becoming participatory in ways that most denizens of industrial-age mass media are never going to truly understand. So the economic basis and the product itself are both changing utterly. The good news is that we get to reinvent the way we communicate with one another in a way that we haven’t been able to in 180 years. The bad news is there’s going to be a lot of chaos until we get there. Though maybe that’s good news too?

Billee: What is your favorite Andy Warhol quote?

Frank: “I don’t know where the artificial stops and the real starts.” During the summer of 1966, Andy did a series of interviews with Gretchen Berg that were published in The East Village Other. It’s generally considered the best interview he ever did, though eventually it came out that his words were heavily edited and even combined with the questions, so that what he was supposed to have said was very smooth and quotable and what he actually said was kind of bland. Which of course is very Andy.

Andy Warhol

Andy said (or didn’t say) a lot of great things in this interview, but this is my favorite. He was talking about his films, but as a general observation it’s brilliant. I mean, who does know? What is artifice? What is real? They’re so mixed up it’s impossible to tell. And he was talking in the ‘60s, when artifice was still a cottage industry compared to what it is now.

As a writer and interviewer and thinker I like to worry away at certain points, and this is my favorite. I don’t think it can ever be settled, but that’s not the point. The point is that this is the central question of our time. Digital media. Virtual reality. Artificial intelligence. The boundaries are blurring—and they’re not going to get any clearer.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!

PS – You can download a FREE chapter of  We-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy here!

Free Chapter Sharing Economy