Falling Down the Sharing Economy Rabbit Hole

Chris Herd
4 min readOct 1, 2019

What is the sharing economy?

DDemocratizedaccess to excess capacity through a platform.

The sharing economy takes something which is usually expensive but underutilized and enables it to be used more efficiently by allowing it to be used by more than just the owner of the product.

The consumer does this to save on the cost of purchasing an item they may only use once and the sharer does so because he can recoup some of his expenditure by sharing.

The quality of transactions is often ensured through review systems which rate both the consumer and the sharer. This ensures high quality on both sides of the exchange/transaction which is essential in ensuring and building trust.

Trust is the currency which enables transactions to occur in higher frequency.

The sharing economy helps assists in the establishment of an economically more viable world which are simultaneously more environmentally efficient. It actively assists in the reduction of the number of cars required on the streets, the number of hand tools that need to be purchased and the amount of food waste we generate collectively.

It creates and cultivates an incredible feeling of community among its users. By building platforms which enable transactions to occur a community of people emerges who evangelize the service and bring virality to its expansion. The people who utilize a service come to define it, even more so than the founders and creators.

The emergence and development of platforms are controlled by user behavior which prescribes the direction in which it will grow. They identify the features that must become a pre-requisite for their use to continue to flourish.

Does it exist as imagined above?

The sharing economy though can be a disingenuous term which misleads the public into thinking the businesses aren’t profit-centric organizations. The reality is that the vast majority of companies operating within the sphere are.

Uber, Airbnb, and Etsy all fall under the umbrella of the sharing economy moniker. The sharing economy façade is undoubtedly a welcome descriptor for these which dilutes their…

Chris Herd

CEO / Founder / Coach @FirstbaseHQ Empowering people to work in their lives not live at work ✌️✌