Top 5 We-Cons Responsible for Creating our New WorldBillee Howard
Much talk has been circulating around the power of the sharing economy and how it is transforming the world in which we live, making it an infinitely better place to be.
Few however have looked at the disruptors driving it forward and what their unique visions are for a future powered by the we and not the me.
Below is a listing of the top 5 “we-cons” (the sharing economy version of icons) responsible for both creating our new world and powering it forward:
1) Brian Chesky, CEO, Airbnb
In essence, Brian Chesky wanted a world more like the villages of old: highly trusting and filled with micro-entrepreneurs who shared their assets to make a living. This vision has procured a disruptive model to hotels and lodging that has shaken up the travel sector so much, it has left industry stalwarts like Marriott and Hilton quaking in their boots. Brian’s vision however goes way beyond just the lodging sector. As Tom Friedman put it: “Airbnb’s real innovation is not online rentals. It’s “trust.” It created a framework of trust that has made tens of thousands of people comfortable renting rooms in their homes to strangers.”
2) Leah Busque, CEO, TaskRabbit
Leah Busque imagined a workforce where employees were less reliant on traditional jobs and embraced what she calls “micro-entrepreneurship.” This vision has led to a revolution of “on-demand” service companies that bring anything to our door at anytime of day. The model has also created collaborative ecosystems with local businesses and consumers and TaskRabbit in communities around the globe, making the notion of on-demand a true reality, and spawning a legion of imitators across niche in its wake.
3) Robin Chase, CEO, Zipcar
Robin Chase viewed the Weconomy world as a place where assets, ideas and experiences are shared, thereby making the world transform. Chase feels that our new environment is changing the face of capitalism and will continue to do so. It is this vision that allowed ZipCar to offer rental cars to anyone anywhere through a model of sharing, that has rivaled legacy players like Hertz and Avis for years and put a dent in their formally impenetrable armors. ZipCar is a true sharing economy pioneer whose innovation has made our modem world possible.
4) Colin Evran, CEO, Yard Club
Colin Evran started Yard Club aiming to help contractors and construction companies maximize the value of their equipment by keeping it in use all the time. The company has entered the sharing economy with a platform that makes it possible for contractors to rent out their idle equipment when it’s not in use and rent other contractors’ equipment when their own businesses have more work than anticipated. His vision has opened the possibilities of the Weconomy to the business to business space and that vision without question will create enormous future disruption that will create positive economic ripples worldwide.
5) Nimber, CEO, Ari Kestin
Ari Kestin has found yet another pocket of untapped opportunity in the sharing economy which is what makes Nimber truly innovative. His vision is about looking at how much extra space we all carry in our cars, vans, trains etc and what can be done with that space. Essentially Kestin has created a marketplace to match a person who has something they want delivered with someone going in the same direction, the website allows people to post details of items – from packages to bikes, chairs and keychains – they want transported short or long distances. On the other side of the transaction are those traveling by foot, car or van in the same direction who agree to take the package and deliver it for a fee.
This revolutionary idea is amazing both because it identifies a new area to leverage the power of we, and because it intends to do so in a socially conscious way. “Social sharing” anyone?
While many debate the merits and longevity of the sharing economy either because they don’t understand it, or it threatens their traditional business models, it is clear because of these pioneers and their invaluable contributions, that a world of we not me, is undoubtedly both our present and our future.
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!
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