Access Greater Than Ownership


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This article by Kaushal Sarda, Chief Evangelist at Kuliza, was published in issue 06 of Social Technology Quarterly.
Summary: A look at collaborative consumption, a phenomenon that is challenging current methods of consumption and is defining new ways of living.

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Access Greater Than Ownership

  1. 1. KulizaA look at collaborative consumption, a phenomenon that is challenging currentmethods of consumption and is defining new ways of Kaushal SardaCollaborative ConsumptionSocial networks, location technologies, and rise in mobilecommunication are driving a reinvention of activities like sharing,bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping. Thesechanges are driving consumption towards peer-peer exchangeamongst people as opposed to ownership. New examples of thisbehaviour are popping up every day across the world in variouscontexts like unused spaces, goods, skills, money, energy, andgeneral services.Understanding Collaborative ConsumptionDrivers of Collaborative Consumption• A renewed belief in the power of communities• Success of peer-peer social systems and real-time technologies• Global recession that has challenged the prevalent consumptiondriven lifestyle• Growing concern in relation to unresolved environmental issuesSystems that are powering collaborative consumption• Product service systems: Systems that allow people to pay forthe benefits of access to a product rather than owning it• Collaborative lifestyle: Systems that allow people to mutuallybenefit by sharing personal resources like skill, space, money,and power• Redistribution markets: Market places that help stretch the life ofa product and in turn reduce waistTrends that support collaborative consumption• Rise of distributed structures: 16 of the top 100 bestseller bookswere self-published and made available via Kindle.This marks theshift in power from established, controlled structures to distributedstructures such as market places and funding. Kickstarteris now the largest backer of creative projects on the planet.• Reputation economy: The rise of identity brokers offers trust orreputation scores for people on distributed market places. Thesetrust scores act as the backbone for peer-peer exchangesCommunitiesCommunities
  2. 2. Social Technology Quarterly 06ZipCarSystem: Product Service SystemCategory: TransportAbout: Zipcar is an American membership-based car-sharingcompany. Zipcar members have automated access to Zipcars byusing an access card that works with the car’s technology to unlockthe door. It also offers an iPhone and an Android application that allowmembers to ‘honk’ in order to locate a Zipcar and unlock its doors.Share Some SugarSystem: Product Service SystemCategory: Home, LivingAbout: An online service that helps one find someone in aneighbourhood or a group of friends who is willing to lend or rentsomething one needs.ColoftSystem: Collaborative LifestyleCategory: Co-workingAbout: Coloft is a shared work space in Santa Monica that createsa sense of community and excitement amongst like-minded people.It empowers working professionals such as entrepreneurs, start-ups, freelancers, programmers, and designers by providing spaceand office facilities.AirbnbSystem: Collaborative LifestyleCategory: Travel & LivingAbout: Airbnb is an online service that matches people seekingvacation rentals and other short-term accommodations with thosewho rent-out rooms. Listings include private rooms, apartments,castles, boats, manors, tree houses, teepees, igloos, private islands,and other properties.GazelleSystem: Redistribution MarketsCategory: Electronic RecyclingAbout: Gazelle is a fast-growing website that hascreated a marketplace for people who want analternatives to disposing electronic devices that wereonce expensive possessions.