Why it matters

Sharing economy companies are moving away from a model of selling access to private resources and toward offering access to trusted communities where human connections are as important as the service rendered. In a climate of increased concerns about waste, incumbent companies need to begin understanding how shared resources are attracting once consumption-hungry people looking to cut down on stuff and build communities.


  • Ownership is changing radically, especially in categories that carry high maintenance costs, that occupy lots of space, or that are infrequently used; marketing will change in turn, shifting from selling products to attracting and keeping service users.
  • People are increasingly aware of the impact of waste on the planet and its resources; environmental credentials, messaging, and – ultimately – action will become necessary for companies to survive.
  • At a much deeper level, endless growth from the selling of products will be replaced by services opening up access to consumers, which will necessitate a re-think of both how we do business and how we measure its success.