What is the shared economy anyways?
Simply put, the shared economy is about utilizing assets that are underutilized. The shared economy is an economic and social approach that enables shared access to services, products, goods data and talent. Today, there's a surplus of goods that are not being utilized and a marketplace of consumers looking to capitalize on them. Many companies have realized the potential of the shared economy, and have become some of the biggest success stories of the past few years.
Why does it matter?
Today, there's a surplus of unrealized value that can be found all around us. Innovative companies are tapping into those resources, allowing people to access them only when they need to, and requiring for them to only pay for what they use. It is no longer necessary for you to make a huge investment in something that will go underused. Companies like Uber, Surf Air and TaskUs are disrupting traditional businesses by uncovering the vast amount of unrealized potential the existing economy holds, effectively saving resources and providing alternative options to traditionally regulated options.
Will the shared economy last?
There's no guarantee it will continue thriving at this pace, but the goal of using the shared economy model is to reduce underutilized resources in the world, making our economy and planet more sustainable. An article in The New York Times discussing Airbnb's rise to competing with global hotel chains stated, "And just think how much better all this is for the environment - for people to be renting their spare bedrooms rather than building another Holiday Inn and another and another. ... The sharing economy - watch this space. This is powerful."