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The Collaborative Economy Movement Changes Business
This report offers critical insight for big brands who are grappling with the emergence of the Collaborative Economy, and for the startups that are driving this growth. For those new to the term, the collaborative economy is a powerful, if nascent, movement in which people are getting the things from each other, it’s a combination of trends like the sharing economy, maker movement, and co-innovation.
[In the growing Collaborative Economy, people fund, make, and share things with each other --rather than buy from inefficient corporations]
That means that people go to a site like LendingClub to get funding for their new project, rather than a traditional bank. Or, they may go to a site like Etsy or Shapeways to get custom made goods, or go to a site like eBay to buy pre-owned goods, instead of buying new products from retailers. In each of these cases, the crowd is self-empowered to get what they need from each other.
But while the collaborative economy is poised to disrupt many industries, there is remarkably little data on how many people participate in sharing and making, who they are, and, most importantly, why they do it. Our report paints a picture of the sharers in the collaborative economy and provides important recommendations for businesses that want to win in this new economy.
The Largest Study of the Collaborative Economy
By engaging 90,112 people the US, Canada and the UK, we uncovered three distinct types of people who participate in the collaborative economy:
- Re-sharers: Those who buy and/or sell pre-owned goods online (for example, on Craigslist or eBay), but have not yet ventured into other kinds of sharing.
- Neo-sharers: People who use the newer generation of sharing sites and apps, like Etsy, TaskRabbit, Uber, Airbnb and KickStarter.
- Non-sharers: People who have yet to engage in the collaborative economy. Although many of these non-sharers intend to try sharing services (in particular, re-sharing sites like eBay) in the next 12 months.
Crowd Companies and Vision Critical Team Up
In Dec, I launched Crowd Companies, an association for large brands that want to partner with the Collaborative Economy, to help these large companies navigate, find partners and shift their business models, hard data is needed to make real decisions. Partnered with Vision Critical, we’ve worked hard to launch a survey across 90,000+ respondents in USA, Canada, and the UK, to find out exactly how they share, buy custom goods, P2P lend, and crowd fund. Crowd Companies council members will receive a private briefing with myself and Alexandra Samuel, my co-author, and we’re hosting an event for council members at SXSW this coming Friday.
This report contains the following:
- Introduction and summary
- Breakdown of the three groups of sharing customers
- Market adoption rates
- Taxonomy of the market
- Breakdown by demographic: age, location, political party, marriage status and more.
- Satisfaction rates of sharing services
- Forecast of future behaviors and growth rates by sector
- Recommendations for corporations: market opportunities, and specific departmental impacts.
There are nine graphics, which we’ll explore in future blog posts, here’s two key frameworks and graphics at industry level.
Above: We’ve segmented part of the collaborative economy (there are still unexplored areas such as co-innovation, 3d printing and crypto-currencies) into five major categories: goods, services, space, transportation, and money sharing. These span the sharing economy and maker movement. In both methods, this enables people to get what they need from each other –rather than buy it from inefficient corporations.
Above: We asked the thousands of respondents about their intended usage over the next 12 months, helping us to forecast behavior usage based on explicit responses. There’s significant growth in the sharing of used goods (up to 46%), but the overall growth rate will slow. Neo-sharing services are on the rise as custom services, personal services, places to stay, crowdfunding and moneylending to achieve double digit adoption rates.
Above: The larger infographic, which you can embed on your site.
Read, use, and share the following:
Ill cross-link to key reviews of this report, leave a comment below if I miss one, or reply via a tweet.
This report is based on two surveys conducted between October 2013 and January 2014 by Vision Critical’s Voice of Market with participants from the U.S., U.K. and Canada ages 18 and over. The initial survey of 90,112 respondents provided data on the overall incidence, frequency and nature of participation in the collaborative economy. The questions regarding the collaborative economy were imbedded in a general omnibus survey covering a variety of topics. The topic of the collaborative economy was not mentioned in the invitation to the survey. A follow-up survey of over 2,500 sharers provided deeper insight into the nature of participation in the collaborative economy and in particular, on respondents’ most recent sharing transactions. The data is demographically representative of the adult (18+) populations of the U.S., U.K. and Canada. The results were weighted by age, gender, region and education, to be representative of the demographics of each nation. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 0.3% for the sample of 90,112 and +/- 2% for the sample of 2,517, 19 times out of 20.
Special thanks to the extended Vision Critical team, including , Andrew Reid, Alexandra Samuel, Andrew Grenville, Jenny Smelyanets, and others.
A large crowd convenes at a Maker Faire for the full scale mouse trap.
This maker movement puts power in the hands of the people to fund, design, prototype, produce, manufacture, distribute, market and sell their own goods. This movement impacts global manufacturing as creation shifts geographically to local, philosophically to sustainability and legally to force the adaptation of new IP laws as people move from consuming to creating and sharing.
The following material features links, sources and dates, sorted in logical orders, to help you find key data that you’ll need to make informed decisions. Additionally, I’ll link to other listings and indexes that will provide further context. One of my goals is to serve as an industry curator to advance our collective knowledge, research, and in addition to own personal understanding. If this is truly a sharing economy, then we must be willing to share what we learn and know with others. If you would like to read an overview that includes three distinct business opportunities for corporations, read the full report on the Collaborative Economy Value Chain. Please leave comments with your input and URL. I’ll be happy to add and credit you.
Scope: The practice of individual people or non-traditional groups creating physical goods and products.
Market Capitalization and Value
- Economic boost: “Makers pump some $29 billion into the economy each year.” USA Today, Oct 2013
- 3D printing value: “The overall market for 3-D printing products and services hit $2.2 billion in 2012, a compounded annual growth rate of almost 29 percent compared to the $1.7 billion the industry recorded in 2011.” Wired, May 2013
- Revenue of 3D printing: “North America & Asia-Pacific accounted for more than 68.0% of the 3D Printing Materials Revenue in 2012.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- Surge in sales: “MakerBot [a 3D printer manufacturer] had sold approximately 7,500 machines from 2009 to 2012, generating an estimated $10 million to $15 million in revenue.” Wired, Apr 2012
- Breadth of the movement: Approximately 135 million U.S. adults are makers: “People who employ their creative skills in craft activities, such as making clothing, jewelry, baked goods or works of craft or art. That’s 57% of the American population age 18 and up.” USA Today, Oct 2013
- 3D printing projected growth: “3D printing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23% from 2013 to 2020 and reach $8.41B in 2020.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- 3D printing growth projections: “World demand for 3D printing is projected to rise more than 20 percent per year to $5 billion in 2017.” Reports and Reports, Dec 2013
- 3D printing historic growth: “There was a 35,000% increase in 3D printers sold from 2007 to 2011, with 66 3D printers sold in 2007 and 23,265 sold in 2011.” Yahoo Finance, Nov 2013
- Increased material demand: “The market for 3D printing plastic materials in terms of revenue was worth $70.5 million in 2012 and is expected to reach $209.6 million by 2018.” Ciol Bureau, Dec 2013
- Europe growth: “Europe is expected to be the second-fastest growing market, with a CAGR of 15.7% from 2013 to 2018, owing to rising consumption in this region, where end-user markets of 3D printing materials are growing steadily, especially in manufacturing industrial and consumer products. The ROW market is expected to grow the least, compared to other regions in terms of revenue.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- European position: “Europe is poised to pass the Americas, in terms of revenue in 3D printing, by 2020.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- Global demand for 3D printing: “World demand for 3D printing is projected to rise more than 20 percent per year to $5 billion in 2017.” RnR Market Research, Feb 2014
- Global demand for 3D printing supplies: “Global 3D Printing Materials Market to Reach $408.5 Million by 2018” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- Aerospace growth projections: “Much of the growth in 3D printing from 2014 to 2020 will come from the healthcare and aerospace industries.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- North American and Asia Growth: “North America & Asia-Pacific Accounted for more than 68.0% of the 3D Printing Materials Revenue in 2012.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
- Regional growth: “The North American region dominated the 3D Printing Materials Market revenues in 2012. Asia-Pacific is expected to grow at a high CAGR from 2013 to 2018, followed by the North American region.” MarketsandMarkets, Nov 2013
Venture Capital Investing
- Andreessen Horowitz invested $30M in Shapeways, putting its confidence into the 3D printing industry. Wired, Apr 2013. Previously, Shapeways raised $5m to spin out of Philips. Shapeways Blog, Sep 2010
- MakerBot raised $10M in Venture Round funding. TechCrunch, Aug 2011
- Shapeways raised $48.5M. CrunchBase data from 2014
- CustomMade raised $25.25M. CrunchBase data from 2014
- Etsy raised $60M. CrunchBase data from 2014
- Maker’s Row raised $1M in seed funding. CrunchBase data from 2014
Startup Valuation and Growth
- “CustomMade grew from 350 makers in 2009 to more than 12,000 makers at the end of 2013 with $25.7M in venture capital funding.” Sacramento Bee, Dec 2013
- “TechShop, a maker co-working space, has experienced 798% revenue growth in the last 3 years.” The Verge, Sep 2013
- “Etsy is valued at $600M and has 263 employees. $2.28M per employee. Etsy increased sales by 71% in one year: 2010 – $307M to 2011 – $525M.” BitRebels, Jun 2012
- “Etsy has 875,000 shops; 13,000,000 items; 2,900,000 items sold per month.” BitRebels, Jun 2012
- “There are 15 million Etsy DIYers in over 150 countries with 690,000 new members joining every month.” BitRebels, Jun 2012
- Etsy sellers don’t identify as hobbyists. 74% consider their Etsy shops as businesses. 91% aspire to grow their sales in the future. Etsy sellers are 88% women, 97% run their businesses from home, and they’re geographically dispersed around the US. Income earned on Etsy makes a real difference in people’s lives. It is used for household expenses, discretionary spending, savings and investment. Etsy sellers are characteristic of a larger shift to flexible work. 18% sell goods full-time. Only 26% have other full-time traditional jobs. Etsy shops are a new kind of “start-up” that aren’t run by stereotypical Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who want to grow as big as possible as quickly as possible. Etsy sellers are independent, self-sufficient and they want to stay that way. Survey of 5,500 Etsy sellers, Etsy, Nov 2010.
Mergers and Acquisitions:
- Stratasys acquired MakerBot for $403M, TechCrunch, Jun 2013
- Materialise acquired 3D prototyping firm e-Prototypy, TechCrunch, Feb 2014
- 3D Systems acquired Xerox’s Solid Ink Engineering & Development Teams, WSJ, Jan 2014
- Maker Faire has had over 50 events globally, with flagship events across key cities. Wikipedia, 2014
- Google and MAKE Magazine held the Second Annual Maker Camp, with over 1 million kids participating in the online camp teaching teens to build, hack and explore.” TechCrunch, Jul 2013
- “With its two flagship fairs in San Francisco and New York and 86 worldwide mini-fairs, Maker Faire had 280,000 attendees in 2013.”
Photo used within Creative Commons Licence, by OnInnovation. Please leave a comment and URL with your stats, and I’ll quote and credit you. I’ll be updating this on a regular basis during 2014.
Uber redefines transportation by tapping new business models.
This age-old pyramid diagram above is the basis for many business models. Companies typically choose only one or two of the following qualities: Cheap, Fast, or Quality. To apply this model to the Collaborative Economy, let’s analyze how Uber’s products are fitting into the value propositions across various segments of the triangle. Uber continues to roll out new products, to take on new business opportunities and to combat opposition. To date, Uber is locked in a bloody war with the city of Paris, managing marauding taxi protesters, city regulations that require an Uber to wait 15 minutes before picking up a passenger and increasing bureaucracy at every turn. To combat the latest set of obstacles, Uber has just launched UberPOP, a low-cost, ride-as-a-service, offering smaller cars and cheaper rides than their other products or their traditional taxi competitors.
Uber’s business model is low inventory, high transaction, and high margin.
Uber’s business model is quite simple. They’re a web app, an advanced computer program and a marketing and PR machine. Founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick, said at the recent LeWeb Paris (where I launched Crowd Companies, a brand council for this movement) that Uber is at the intersection of lifestyle and logistics. So why is their business model receiving over $300 million in funding, with a majority of it coming from Google Ventures? Uber is a simple, two-sided marketplace of buyers and sellers. They own no inventory, warehouses, distribution centers or other ancillary overhead required for most traditional business models to operate. Uber hasn’t gone without challenges. Critics point out that Uber is disrupting taxi business models, city taxes and traffic. Even Uber workers had a relatively quiet protest over lost wages, followed by, of course, controversial surge pricing.
The above graphic breaks down Uber’s more popular products, including:
- Uber Town Car. They’re best known for this mode, which birthed the company. Drivers must maintain a 4.6 star rating out of 5.0.
- Uber X. Regular cars owned by regular people who drive. Some are former taxi drivers. Cars must be no more than a few years old and clean. Drivers are also rated.
- UberPOP. Recently launched in Paris, this offers smaller, lower-priced cars, which look nearly like ride-sharing business models.
- Uber SUV. This larger version offers more room to take a group of folks around town or to a destination.
- Uber Helicopter. Last summer, wealthy Manhattans who loathe hours in traffic could take a town car to a helipad and be whisked away to the Hamptons in minutes.
Seven lessons from Uber’s business strategy.
What can large corporations learn from Uber’s successful business model?
- Don’t be afraid to disrupt someone else’s business flow. Uber’s CEO shared on stage that he prints and tapes “cease and desist” letters on his office walls.
- Owning inventory is a liability, because being the middle marketplace is lower risk and higher margin.
- Tap the internet of everything, by applying sensors via mobile devices to find idle resources in a local area.
- Map those idle resources to buyers, using prepaid mobile apps.
- Deliver, and take at least a 15% commission from the transaction.
- Surge pricing is free market economics, the purest form of unregulated capitalism.
- Embrace bad PR as a marketing windfall. Bad press is still better than no press.
What else is Uber up to? This week, for Valentine’s day, you can order skywriting (nothing says I love you like 1200 point font), special deals for Vegas, including a stay at the Cosmo hotel, ice cream on demand, Super Bowl celebrations on your street with Pepsi, Christmas trees via Home Depot, and of course, kittens on demand. Purr.
Question: When the crowd gets what they need from each other, who will monitor, regulate, ensure, and even insure?
Olivier Blanchard, a leading voice for digital business, posed a great question to a Facebook group in which we participate, asking how the sharing economy will contend with jerks that will mess with the sharing space. I’m paraphrasing his excellent question: “There are millions of jerks out there who will either resist this outright or try to twist it into something else if they get a chance.” He’s right. There are incidents that have already happened where someone visited an Airbnb and trashed the house, a car-sharing driver killed someone, crowd-funding has been used to commit fraud or, in the gift economy where people share goods for free, haven taken all and given little. This important topic was addressed at yesterday’s Resilient Summit, an event in Kansas City that I’m co-hosting.
Three Ways the Collaborative Economy Weeds out the Jerks.
I’d like to share the ways I’m seeing these crowd-based systems develop that are helping to identify jerks, and purge them from the system, as well as reward behavior that the community is seeking. Here’s what I’m seeing:
- Tapping the social graph as a form of trust. I frequently make the case that the first phase of sharing is social media, and that the collaborative economy (the physical world) is the second phase. I studied a sampling of 200 sharing startups and found that 74% of the startups had integrated some form of social profiles, recommendations or even Facebook Connect. For example, Airbnb offers Facebook Connect, so you can see which of your friends (or friends of friends) is offering a place to stay – or which of your friends has actually stayed there. Since we don’t have the trust mark of a brand like a major hotel logo, the crowd leans on real world personal profiles, like Facebook.
- Two-way ratings, where buyers and sellers rate each other. Traditionally eBay, Amazon and others have enabled customers to rate the selling company’s goods and performance. Now, because trust marks (brand logos) are not readily apparent in the peer-to-peer collaborative economy, we’re seeing new rating models emerge. We already know that buyers are rating sellers. For example, unlike Taxis, Uber riders can rate their drivers and cars. I’ve learned that Uber drivers must maintain at least a 4.6/5.0 rating or they are booted. On the flip side, the drivers are rating the passengers! If you don’t maintain a high rating, you may not get picked up on that late night out on the town. So, do as our moms taught us. Behave.
- As a failsafe, new insurance products are emerging. This new market is complex and risky. The rules of liability are unclear as we shift “to a lifestyle of access over ownership,” as Lisa Gansky refers to it. Consequently, we’re seeing new forms of liability coverage emerge. When I rented out my car, RelayRides promised me a $1m coverage. But I still felt somewhat uneasy, as I wasn’t clear about to what extent this would protect me. Also, ride-sharing services like Lyft have announced that they’re expanding their insurance coverage.
The system will break, then fix. Accidents will happen and jerks will game the system. Then the system will self-correct. Expect this self-healing process to go on for many years. The process of self-correction is a component of nearly anything systemic. On a similar note, in the social media space, we saw the rise of trolls. Then Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and eBay launched reputation, purge and block features to try to rid of jerks. It’s working, but it’s still not perfect. Of special interest for me, my legal contact, Kyle-Beth Hilfer, just published a relevant paper with Collen IP discussing branding and IP usage in the Collaborative Economy, citing some of my work on the subject.
The Uber NYE accident is a landmark case. While I’m not suggesting anyone in this case is a jerk, on NYE a few weeks ago, a young child was struck by an Uber driver and killed; the family injured. There’s uncertainty, as the driver was an Uber driver, but was in-between rides and didn’t have a paying customer in his car. Furthermore, many groups could be liable, including the city, the driver, the drivers insurance, the family or Uber themselves. This is a landmark case and will set precedent on future incidents.
The crowd will develop its own insurance products. Expect a crowd-designed and crowd-funded insurance product to emerge that covers individuals as they traverse the world in in a sharing and access lifestyle, one that protects both the buyer and seller for this P2P transaction economy. We might also see a hybrid version where a traditional insurance company resells their coverage to an organization in the crowd, creating a “pan-coverage” plan. Imagine how two-way ratings could actually reduce your liability and, therefore, your rates in a crowd-funded insurance plan.
Photo used under creative common license by Mark Atwood
Sharing is not new, we’ve been doing it since we assembled into primitive tribes.
A few months ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak to an insurance company in Iowa. They were intrigued by my focus on the Collaborative Economy (sharing economy, maker movement, co-innovation). We had a lively conversation, and they shared with me, “Jeremiah, we love what you’re doing, but it’s not that new! In the Midwest we’ve been sharing for hundreds of years. People share their farms, their land, their time, their crops, and their equipment. You see, it’s just called being a good neighbor.”
They made an excellent point. Sharing isn’t new. It’s the earliest form of behavior necessary likely born out of safety and prosperity of the individual. The axiom is true that “No man is an island.” We may be able to survive for a short while alone, but we cannot prosper without the community available in families, tribes, towns and cities and other groups. Sharing enables us to minimize the individual risk while allowing the community to yield greater benefits than those available to an isolated few. So, what’s different now? Aha! Excellent question!
Technology has enabled sharing to happen at greater scale and speed than ever before. (I’m paraphrasing my friend Deb Schultz).
“How is that?” you may ask. Location-based sensors, for example, help us to identify and track idle resources. Some call this “the internet of things.” Mobile devices and location-enabled apps help us to find and identify where those resources may be. I’m talking about iPhones and Androids. Mobile payment systems enable us to leave our wallets in our back pocket as become accustomed to the benefits of pre-paying by using apps on our mobile devices. Social graphs from Facebook and Twitter, along with other ratings and reviews systems, help us to find people we know and trust, who are in a position to offer us goods that we need. More powerful computers have emerged that can see this giant “Mesh” and make sense of it in the blink of an eye.
Those Midwest executives at that insurance agency were right! Sharing isn’t new, it’s a natural, human behavior. But now, augmented by new technologies like sensors, mobile devices, payment systems, social networks and powerful computer systems, we can share at far greater scale and speed.
Sharing isn’t new. It’s natural. Which is why it works so well. It’s just about being a good neighbor.
Except that now, aided by technology, we can be a good neighbor to strangers.
Image used within Creative Commons license by Wlodi
Today marks the 5th Annual Community Manager Appreciation Day, or #CMAD for short. I’m thankful to the community for rallying behind this day when I initiated it in 2010. I had seen that some of our hardest working business folks were struggling to manage the onslaught of communications, maintain the balance of internal and external stakeholders, and deal with the emotional toll of responding to customers days, nights and weekends.
This year’s event is being spearheaded by Tim McDonald one of the community leads at the Huffington Post. He’s not alone. There are thousands of community professionals rallying behind the cause, and top social business software and services companies who’ve created content in recognition of it. Tim also created a website, Community Manager Appreciation Day, dedicated to this important need. While there’s already plenty being discussed about the virtues, skills and future of this role, I want to focus on its future, which is this year’s theme.
The social business space is maturing. We’re seeing social integrate into CRM, Marketing Automation and, for better or for worse, extend into multiple departments within companies. For the most part, social media has had its biggest impact in communications roles in Marketing, Corporate Communications and in Customer Care.
Now, in the next phase of sharing, we’re seeing people share cars, homes, products, time, space, and money. This is what we call the Collaborative Economy. Just as community managers honed their skills for online communications, they’ll now need to adjust their skills to the physical world. In this next phase, people are creating physical products (maker movement), then sharing them (sharing economy). This, yet again, shifts more power to the crowd, which means we’ll need new roles in order to meaningfully engage.
The theme for this year is the “Evolution of the Community Manager.” While the duties of the CM aren’t fully clear in this next phase, we should expect that they will play a key leading role as large companies gravitate toward the Collaborative Economy. Here are some potential roles they might have:
- They may identify people who make and share goods through online collaborative websites and tap them as new influencers.
- They may find the top sharing communities in their market, and become a participant.
- They may help their own companies adopt sharing strategies by introducing internal leaders to the concept of turning products into services, like BMW has done with its Drive Now program.
- They may help companies turn online communities into marketplaces where customers can resell, fix and improve existing products.
- They may help companies tap crowd funding so the crowd could be more involved in the development of the next generation of products.
These are just some of the future skills and roles that Community Managers will evolve into as social moves into the physical world. In any case, please join me in celebrating some of the world’s top community professionals that are interacting with us on a daily basis. Hats off to you, Community Professionals!
Photo “The Long Way Home” by my friend Kris Krug, used under Creative Commons license.
People often ask me, “which term should I use? the sharing economy? collaborative economy? the trust economy? or some other term?” I give my answer, but often remind them if we’re successful, it’ll just be called the Economy.
New movements naturally experience a period of exploration, debate, and adoption of new terms. Over time, the use those terms tend to fade away as other new terms are introduced.
About a decade ago, I was intimately involved in exploring the first phase of sharing, social media, from a business context. Today, ten years later, as the physical world is being shared more efficiently through technology, I’m observing similar patterns of change.
When we saw new types of media-sharing tools that didn’t require technical know-how emerge, it changed the game. We considered and used terms like: Web 2.0, Citizen Media, User Generated Content, Social Computing, Business Blogging, People Media, Social Media, Pinko Marketing, Social Networking, Community Marketing, Social Enterprise, and Social Business. Some of those terms were adopted, and some, thankfully, were left behind.
As the first phase of sharing matured, it became referred to simply as “social media.” Even that identififaction is fading into the background as it has become nearly fully integrated into mainstream communications. One can hardly find a mainstream news source that doesn’t integrate social media tightly woven into communication, such as websites, email, news, TV, glasses and “whatever-Apple-wrist-watch-comes-next.”
In our current movement, there’s many-a-term being used to describe what’s happening. Here’s a list of examples, in alphabetical order:
- Blue Economy
- Circular Economy
- Collaborative Consumption
- Collaborative Economy
- Cooperative Economy
- Freelance Economy
- Gift Economy
- Green Economy
- Maker Movement
- New Economy
- P2P Economy
- Peer Economy
- Shadow Economy
- Sharing Economy
- Subscription Economy
- The Mesh
- Trust Economy
As new terms are being coined by multiple entities, there’s clearly growing confusion in the market. Rachel Botsman has taken a swing at clearly articulating the differences in this FastCompany article. She rightfully points out that the terms have different shades of meaning, intent and perspective to the parties that use them.
Sure, I’ve invested a lot on the term Collaborative Economy, as it works well for what we’re trying to accomplish. But a few years from now, we’ll all look back and laugh at all the terms we used, as the prefix of the “X Economy” fades away and it returns to just being the economy. That’ll be proof that we’ve succeeded.
By nature, new movements can be massive, but they impact each person in a unique way. As a result, movements jostle over the terms to be used until they are refined into a common market language. Ultimately, however, when movements are successful, the descriptors become irrelevant, as what was once a disruption becomes the way of life.
Each term will resonate more with certain groups, but in the end, if we’re successful, it’s just the Economy.
Edit: There’s an additional discussion on Facebook.
Today is the start of a long journey, as businesses can also be part of this new economy.
I’m excited! Today is a milestone, it’s the first Crowd Companies council session –we’re kicking off!
The above video was played in our session, to set the tone of the council, we worked with Visually, a collaborative marketplace to get it created. Crowd Companies now has 26 companies in the council, and 22 startups from the collaborative movement.
Together, we’re exploring, discussing, learning, engaging, connecting, and activating within the Collaborative Economy. All within a program focused on the business models and trends we see emerging.
Our speakers are authors, startup CEOs, the members themselves, and even folks who are living a sharing lifestyle day to day. Everyone brought together to think along the lines of innovation – The goal is that brands win and startups too.
This month, we’re setting the foundation for the council, and I’ll present our vision, along with the key business models we see emerging. In Feb, we’ll focus deep on the Sharing Economy and have author of The Mesh, Lisa Gansky present, followed by Neal Gorenflo the founder of Shareable magazine and then council member discussions.
In March, we’ll focus on the Maker movement with the CEO of Techshop, Mark Hatch who authored the book the Maker Manifesto, along with startups from our Innovation Network sharing how they want to work with large companies. In future months, the council will help to share the topics in which we’ll explore.
In addition, we’re trying our best to live this movement too. So far, we’ve used: Crowdspring, Zirtual, Visually, co-working at the Impact Hub, Uber, Airbnb, Visually, TaskRabbit, and many other services. We’re learning into this new economy, as it makes business sense and the best way to learn is by doing.
Professionally, launching this company has been the most challenging and rewarding endeavor ever. And I’m deeply thankful for all of the support and encouragement from people like you.
Since I have you, I’d like to do a little crowdsourcing of our own and get YOU involved. We put up a FAQ on our website and I’d really appreciate you visiting and letting me know if there should be additional questions answered on this page. We want to be as transparent as possible and look forward to your questions.
Today is the start of a long journey, as businesses can also be part of this new economy.
Last night, at a San Francisco Airbnb location, we kicked off Crowd Companies, by hosting a physical face-to-face meet- up of council members, leaders from the Innovation Network, and key industry experts., Photos of this ground-breaking event follow belowto bring it to life, I’ve included some photos below.
Exactly one month ago today, on Dec 10th, we announced Crowd Companies at the LeWeb conference in Paris, with 24 Fortune 500 companies as founding members, with more in the process of joining. We had several goals for last night’s event. I wanted to build physical-world relationships between council members, make personal introductions with the Innovation Network members, introduce teammates Angus and Miranda, enjoy amazing food and drink, and engage in dialog about the Collaborative Economy.
One of the goals of Crowd Companies is to connect the market to the council and the council to the market by providing opportunities to bring them together. We rented an Airbnb location in the Mission district. The food was provided by Feastly, where home kitchens operate like restaurants. Getaround provided a Tesla S, and a SmartCar from their P2P network. CustomMade, a community of makers, surprised me with an original artwork created especially for the event, complete with the Crowd Companies logo. Shapeways brought samples of some of their 3D printed goods. ScootNetworks brought an electric scooter. Many of the other startups from the Innovation Network were there, which we’ll talk about in future events. All of this evidence of the growing reality of the Collaborative Economy, the Maker Movement, and its leaders was totally amazing.
While last night was like an experiential taste test in the context of a meet and greet, next week we kick off the formal council calls for the members and outline the program and schedule for this group focused on the Collaborative Economy. If you work at a large company that should be part of this (or know someone who does), please contact us on our website, CrowdCompanies.com, and we’ll get right back in touch with you.
Select pictures below as we phsyically infused the Crowd and Companies together as one:
(Edit: There are more discussions on Facebook)
Thank you CustomMade, a marketplace of artisans and makers, for surprising this amazing art, a unique piece of art from their community, complete with our logo. The artists are Sarah and Brad Matthews, see their portfolio on CustomMade.
Crowd Companies team and council members: Jeremiah from Crowd Companies, Mason from Verizon, Ursula from Swisscom, Bill from Autodesk, Angus from Crowd Companies.
We kicked off a discussion, asking: “Can surge pricing sustain” and “Can you live a great life (primarily) in the sharing economy?”, sparking some interesting discussions.
Books are provided to each council brand related to professional Millennials Promote Yourself, Maker Movement Manifesto, The Mesh, and Share or Die, and each of these authors will present at the council. Photo by Karen O’Brien
Mason (Verizon), Jeremiah and Lori (Adobe) check out Scoot Networks, electric scooters on demand.
Salon style discussion on the Collaborative Economy compared to the “traditional” economy, what’s new, and what’s not?
Angela Baldwin from DesksNearMe, Padden from Getaround, Noah from Feastly.
Jeremiah and Karen O’Brien, Western Union, and a friend for many years. Photo by Karen O’Brien
Getaround shared how even Teslas are available for rent in their P2P marketplace
We opened the space in the afternoon, for co-working and discussions over snacks and coffee.
Food provided by a Chef from Feastly, who normally hosts dinners at her own house and unique locations. Homes are becoming restaurants. This is a hip Airbnb rental in Mission.
Eric Toczko from CustomMade, Jeff Nelder, Richard Brewer-Hay
Peer to peer car rental demo by Getaround, a Smart car.
Crowd Companies Team: Angus, Miranda, Jeremiah
Above: MakerBot 3-D printer from MakerBot Flickr account.
This blog is focused on the relationship between large companies and their communities (customers, partners, and more) as it relates to new technologies. Emerging markets generate a desire for large companies to integrate new technologies to scope out new business models, scenarios and plans. Within this context I propose four major scenarios for large companies to offer 3D printing and scanning technologies within their business ecosystem.
New business models are emerging, transforming retailers into manufacturers and service providers, offering customized products at scale, and reconfiguring supply chain and logistics into new business entities heretofore unseen and into others we’ve yet to see. As a primer, before you read on, be sure to read the impacts of 3D printing to corporations, then read the five different roles large companies can play in this market.
|4) Industrial 3D printing
||$500k industrial printers that print complex, advanced materials or multi-materials, ideal for medical and industrial use. Example: aerospace parts are being printed by GE, and BAE systems is printing fighter jet parts.
|3) 3D Printing as a Service
||In this scenario, expensive 3D printers are housed in a central location and orders are received online. The finished products are mailed to the customer, taking days or weeks. Currently, Shapeways offers this service, printing using high quality metals, plastics and other substrate materials.
|2) Retail 3D printing
||The potential exists for retail stores, big box electronics, shipping, and office supply services to offer print on demand, much like the old Photomat business model.
|1) Home 3D printing
||Cube, Type A Machines, and MakerBot, already offer consumer-grade machines that may be used to print in 3D in your own home.
3D printing requires business model change.
The big trend is that people and businesses are becoming empowered by new technologies for funding, design, modeling, manufacturing, and shipping goods on demand. While most goods are currently simple items, technology will continue to advance, demanding major shifts in today’s manufacturing ecosystem.
- The game shifts when anyone can manufacture goods. First of all, my mom isn’t ready for 3D printing. I’ve taken classes at TechShop, and I was stunned by the complexities involved. However, 3D printing as a service (like Shapeways) enables anyone to produce 3D goods without configuring printers, filaments and dealing with 3D files. Production, even on a limited scale, starts to become democratized.
- New services emerge for customized products. 3D printing isn’t just about printing goods on demand or at a local level. It also allows people to print out customized products for their own lives, bodies, and homes. Expect new design services to emerge to produce custom-fit products for bodies. In fact they already exist. A logical starting point is jewelry, then practical gadgets, mechanical devices, consumer electronics, automotive components.
- Logistics, supply chain, and shipping are impacted. With goods being produced at local levels rather than at production facilities, in country or offshore, supply chains are disrupted, as 3D Printing takes global hold. With that said, China is already investing in 3D printing, according to USAToday.
Thank you to the Ben Simon-Thomas and Scott McGregor from SoundFit, a 3D scanning provider who fleshed out this diagram with me. If you are a large company and want to discuss these topics with experts and your peers, I recently launched a company dedicated to these and similar game-changing topics. See Crowd Companies, a brand council for the Collaborative Economy.