The sharing economy or the collaborative economy, as it’s also called, is “an economic model where technologies enable people to get what they need from each other — rather than from centralized institutions” explains Jeremiah Owyang,1 business analyst and founder of Crowd Companies, a collaborative economy platform. This means you could rent someone’s living room for a day or two, ride someone else’s bike for a couple of hours or even take someone’s pet out for a walk — all for a rental fee.
Even a few years ago, this sort of a thing was unthinkable. When Airbnb launched in 2008, many people were skeptical, as the whole idea not only seemed irrational, but totally stupid. I mean why would anyone want to stay the night in a stranger’s room and sleep on air beds, right? Well, turns out many people did! Airbnb moved from spare rooms to luxury condos, villas, and even castles and private islands in more than 30,000 cities across 190 countries, the rentals reached a staggering 15 million plus last year.
What is driving this trend? Millennials definitely play a role here.2 Their love for everything on-demand, plus their frugal mindset makes them ideal for the sharing economy. But the sharing economy is attractive to consumers across a wide demographic, as it only makes sense.