Want a Quick Path to Prosperity? Start Sharing

Yesterday, I listened to a very interesting report on the “Sharing Economy” on CBC Radio.

Audio link + written transcript here

I knew about Sharing Economy “Staples” such as Air B&B and Uber, and I did learn quite a bit from report as well. For instance, did you know that there are 80 million power drills in North America. Did you know the average total time they will be used? 13 minutes. TOTAL! For a lifetime!

home-depot-toolsThe other fact they bring up is that cars generally sit idle for 23 hours in a day as well.

So WHY are we buying all our stuff, ALL the time? That’s a good question!

So for these two industries there are “sharing-economy” services: Car sharing services (like ZipCar) and tool sharing services (mostly in bigger cities).

There exists a variety of other industry disrupting services notably in accomodations, transportation and even services.

What I find really fascinating is the paradigm shift that we’re seeing for the new generation, the “Millenials”. Here is the quote from the show:

“Not only do they not want ownership, they don’t want the responsibility of ownership.”

I am part of this group. I don’t want to own things, I want access to things. I’ve never bought a DVD, I’ve bought 2-3 CDs in my life, I look to borrow/share/rent if I can, and really what I’m looking at is “what can I do” vs “what I can own”. For instance, I’ve always dreamed of sailing around the world, or across oceans. I thought long and hard about owning a boat, until realizing it would cost in the several $10,000s, maybe even $100,000 for such ventures. What I did, is I found a couple of sites where you can hop onto other peoples’ boats, and do those same trips:

crewseekers.net or http://findacrew.net

Both these sites offer trips from basically anywhere to anywhere.

I think it’s smart financially and also lifestyle-wise to take a look at alternatives to ownership: you might find you can do a lot more, save a lot of money and be a lot more fulfilled in the process!

What about you? How do you feel about the sharing economy? Do you see yourself more as an owner of goods or a sharer of costs?

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