Archive for August, 2015

The Collaborative Economy Defined



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The Collaborative Economy defined: An economic model where commonly available technologies enable people to get what they need from each other.  

There are over 37 terms being used for this market, but the one that makes the most sense in terms of scope and accuracy is the Collaborative Economy. The above image is a screen capture from my powerpoint slide that I use in presentations, research, publications and with the Crowd Companies council, that we founded at the end of 2013. The honeycomb metaphor is an apt one; as it’s a representation of many individuals working together as a collective, see the matching market  infographic.

While each term has drawbacks, the Collaborative Economy moniker is a wide enough scope of the overall trend: P2P transactions. An example of these peer based transactions include: crowdfunding where people fund each others projects, the maker movement where people make their own goods instead of buying them from traditional retail, P2P lending where people lend each other money instead of from traditional lenders, crypto currencies where the crowd owns the ledgers, and the sharing economy a term popularized by the media where people rent homes, cars or services to each other. The popularized term, sharing economy, while a misnomer in it’s own right, is just a subset of the overall movement of P2P commerce.

I’m not alone, it’s worth noting that the core thought leaders are using the term Collaborative Economy like Lisa Gansky, Rachel Botsman, and Robin Chase and the premier festival Ouishare was the first to use this, even before I. The Collaborative Economy moniker and definition is the right scope and is most accurate for this growing movement. I welcome your feedback in the below comments.




Get Data and Stats for your Collaborative Economy Research


As part of our ongoing research on the Collaborative Economy industry, we collect, analyze, and forecast where this market is heading. In the spirit of transparency and sharing, we openly share this data with the open market.

Each of the three sheets are in continual production and improvement. They don’t stay static for long. Although you cannot edit the online sheets, you can download the files, then edit, splice, or use in your own presentations at will.

The first sheet, Startup Funding in the Collaborative Economy, is the most developed, with over a dozen tabs, which include analysis, graphs, and more. The second two, are works in progress. As the data in both fills up, we continue to analyze data, for charting.

In any case, please bookmark this page. If you found it useful, please share it with others on social media or email.

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Above: This mature sheet features a comprehensive aggregation of funding in this market, which has ballooned to over $10 billion in a few short years. The workbook has multiple sheets for viewing by market and industry type, funding size, trends by date, and more.

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Above: Since Jan 1st, I’ve been collating data from articles, media, and studies in this handy Google sheet. It’s an index to where many studies on adoption, earnings, attitudes, growth, disruption are located.

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Above: Way over a year ago, I started a timeline of brands (first edition) deploying in this market, launched an updated (second edition) version, and designed it to convert into a Google sheet that can be scored and used to derive case frequency information. The analysis is completed and graphs will emerge, shortly.


If you seek more in-depth information, please check out my Body of Work on the Collaborative Economy, a comprehensive starting point to all my publications. If you work at a large corporation, consider joining Crowd Companies, the council I created, focused solely on this topic.

As much as I personally enjoy analyzing markets in order to understand what it all means, and enabling decision makers to chart the landscape, this practice is also useful for understanding where things are likely to head over the coming years in this exploding market. I look forward to your feedback.

This is the second time I’ve posted links to these databases, the timing is right to re-inform folks as I see many questions about market data.