WRITTEN BY: Jessica Scorpio
"In 2009, I was a student in the inaugural graduate studies program of Singularity University. There we were challenged to come up with an idea that could impact 1 billion people within 10 years. Other groups chose to use 3-D printing to build homes in the developing world and mobile phones to create a better disaster response system. We chose to improve our transportation systems by empowering people everywhere to share their cars. This eventually became Getaround.
THE EVOLUTION OF SHARING
A few years ago, no one would have thought peer-to-peer asset sharing would become such a big thing. With the immense popularity of Airbnb and the emergence of thousands of other sharing companies globally, 2012 has quickly become the year of sharing. Most articles on innovation list “sharing” as a game-changing idea or the hot trend to watch.
The hitch is, there’s nothing new about sharing. Individuals have been finding ways to increase their access to goods and services for some time. You needn’t go further than Small Town, USA, for proof. Chances are good you’ll find a library, laundromat, and what used to be a video rental store. That’s all the sharing economy.
For many years, these “classic” forms of sharing were part of everyday life. Individuals relied on public institutions and private corporations to maximize our access to things we couldn’t afford or didn’t see the value in purchasing ourselves. These organizations provided a formal framework in which to share, assuming the risk of owning the shared assets while enforcing rules and guidelines for participation.
More recently, there has been a surge in peer-to-peer sharing, and formal sharing institutions are quickly becoming a thing of the past. It doesn’t require an in-depth analysis to recognize the role of technology in this shift. What started online as the sharing of information has quickly turned into a full-fledged economy, with individuals sharing their homes, cars, and skills with the help of mobile devices...."
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