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THE NEW

SHARING
ECONOMY
A STUDY BY LATITUDE IN COLLABORATION WITH SHAREABLE MAGAZINE
IT’S TRUE THAT SHARING IS A SIMPLE CONCEPT AND A
FUNDAMENTAL PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE. THANKS IN LARGE
PART TO THE WEB, IT’S NOW AN INDUSTRY WITH SEEMINGLY

UNBOUNDED POTENTIAL.

THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY IS ONE INSTALLMENT OF LATITUDE 42s


an ongoing series of open innovation studies which Latitude, an international research
consultancy, publishes in the spirit of knowledge-sharing and opportunity discovery.
PHOTO BYD'ARCY NORMAN

Technology is connecting individuals to information, other people, and physical things in ever-more
efficient and intelligent ways. It’s changing how we consume, socialize, mobilize— ultimately, how
we live and function together as a society. In a global economy where the means of production are
becoming increasingly decentralized, where access is more practical than ownership, what do the
successful businesses of the future need to know?

— What’s changed about our psychology of sharing?


— Is money the only, or even the most valuable, currency anymore?
— How can Web, mobile and real-time technologies continue to fuel sharing?
— What are the opportunity spaces for business owners & future sharing entrepreneurs?

 THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42


THE NEW DRIVERS OF SHARING ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS
— More than 3 in 5 participants
made the connection between
75% of respondents predicted their sharing of physical objects and spaces
sharing and sustainability, citing
will increase in the next 5 years. “better for the environment” as
one benefit of sharing.*
TECHNOLOGY
— Online sharing is a good predictor of offline sharing. Every study participant who shared
information or media online also shared various things offline — making this group
GLOBAL RECESSION
— Over the past few years, the
significantly more likely to share in the physical world than people who don’t share digitally.
tenuous state of the economy has
— 85% of all participants believe that Web and mobile technologies will play a critical role heightened awareness around
in building large-scale sharing communities for the future. purchasing decisions, stressing

H practicality over consumerism.


Participants with lower incomes ?7>C>1H:4E8=3>>;4H

were more likely to engage in


COMMUNITY sharing behavior currently and to feel positively towards the idea of sharing
than did participants with higher incomes. They also tended to feel more
— 78% of participants felt
comfortable sharing amongst anyone who joins a sharing community.  ;
their online interactions with
people have made them — Regardless of income, more than 2/3 of all participants expressed that
more open to the idea of they’d be more interested to share their personal possessions if they could
sharing with strangers, make money from it.
suggesting that the social
— The two most popularly perceived benefits of sharing (67% each*) were
media revolution has
“saving money” and being “good for society,” echoing the “we + me” mentality
broken down trust barriers.
now popular amongst Millennials; saving money needn’t come at the expense
 of helping the environment or society.
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Symbols convey that the following subgroups were significantly linked to the corresponding data point:
— Moreover, most participants (78%) had also used a local, peer-to-peer Web platform like
Craigslist or Freecycle- where online connectivity facilitates offline sharing and social activities. H Gen Y (ages 20-29)  High Income ($100k+) Tech-oriented Has Children

; Politically Liberal  Low Income (<50k) Smartphone Owner

This study’s data supports the four primary drivers of sharing as originally outlined by Rachel Botsman,
co-author of What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption *Response options were not mutually exclusive.

! THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42


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THE NEW TIMELESS “IN BOTH DEVELOPED AND DEVELOPING

CULTURE OF SHARING
PARTS OF THE WORLD, PEOPLE ARE
EXPLORING HOW TO USE GOODS AND
SERVICES MORE COLLABORATIVELY,
COMBINING PERSONAL AND SOCIETAL
Sharing is a basic part of human life, so perhaps it shouldn’t come
VALUE, UNLOCKING OPPORTUNITIES FOR
as a surprise that older generations were just as likely to share as
Millennials. In fact, participants aged 40+ were more likely to feel ORGANIZATIONS OF ALL KINDS AND,

comfortable sharing with anyone at all who joins a sharing ULTIMATELY, CREATING NEW WAYS FOR US
community (with varying levels of community protections in place) TO ENJOY LIFE AND LIVE SUSTAINABLY AT
and to perceive “making new friends” as a benefit of sharing, THE SAME TIME."
whereas Millennials tended to feel comfortable sharing only within —STEVE MUSHKIN, CEO OF LATITUDE
smaller networks.* Attitudinally, however, Millennials were more
likely to feel positively about the idea of sharing, more open to trying
it, and more optimistic about its promise for the future.

?7>C>1H6A8=0??;4
*It’s worth acknowledging that Millennials may simply consider a wider network of
people to be “friends” or to have more granular understandings of digital privacy
controls, thanks to the rise of social networking — so the relative sizes of these two
generations’ trusted networks may not differ greatly, even if their labels do.

“A LOT OF THESE ARE VERY OLD-MARKET BEHAVIORS, BUT THEY’RE BEING


REINVENTED ON A SCALE AND IN WAYS THAT WE’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE
BECAUSE OF TECHNOLOGY. FOR SURE, MILLENNIALS ARE THE FOOTSOLDIERS
DRIVING THIS CHANGE BECAUSE IT’S VERY INTUITIVE TO THEM; THEY’VE NEVER
KNOWN ANY DIFFERENTLY. BUT I THINK THAT IT ALSO SEEMS NATURAL TO THE
OLDER GENERATIONS—THE WAR-TIME GENERATIONS— BECAUSE THEY HAD A
VERY STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY.”
—RACHEL BOTSMAN, CO-AUTHOR OF WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS: THE RISE OF
COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION
" THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42
?7>C>1HA>14ACB3>=>E0=

THE NEW STUFF OF SHARING


THE DRIVE OF DIGITAL
— Not surprisingly, 3 out of 4 participants currently share personal or
informational content through social networking platforms. Moreover, 70%
share digital media, and 68% share physical media like books and DVDs.

— Of those who share information and media online, approximately 2 in 3


participants use other people’s creations licensed under Creative Commons.

THE STATE OF PHYSICAL SHARING


After information and media, the most shared categories are, respectively:
Living space (58%)
Work space (57%)
Food preparation/meal-sharing (57%)
Household items/appliances (53%)
Apparel (50%)
Car-sharers shared across significantly more categories than non-car-sharers
(an average of 11 vs. 8 categories, respectively).

WHAT KIND OF STUFF IS SCREAMING TO BE SHARED?


People are most interested in sharing infrequent-use items that have a high
“OPPORTUNITIES THOUGHT IMPRACTICAL BECAUSE OF PERCEIVED TRUST BARRIERS barrier to ownership or a high burden of ownership. This is the primary reason
ARE NOW FAIR GAME. THE EXAMPLES OF LENDING CLUB, COUCHSURFING, AND that car-sharing has met with such success over recent years. The other part is
a larger paradigm shift where people are just beginning to think about “stuff”
THREDUP SHOW THAT PEOPLE ARE ENGAGING IN INTIMATE TRANSACTIONS WITH
differently. They’re focusing on the benefits of access over ownership—of
STRANGERS DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGY, NEW NORMS, AND NEED. THIS IS THE TRUST practicality over materialism, experiences over possessions.
FRONTIER. WE ARE YET TO DISCOVER HOW FAR WE CAN PUSH THIS FRONTIER. Transportation: automobiles, bikes, boats
THIS IS THE DECADE WHEN WE ANSWER THE QUESTION: "HOW MUCH CAN WE SHARE?" Infrequent-Use Items: household items, event equipment, sporting goods
—NEAL GORENFLO, PUBLISHER OF SHAREABLE MAGAZINE Physical Spaces: garages, parking spaces, spare rooms

# THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42


THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES The greatest areas of opportunity for new sharing businesses are those where a lot of
services do not currently exist within a specific industry category and where a large
number of people are currently either a) sharing casually (not through an organized

FOR SHARING Created by Latitude for The


New Sharing Economy study
community or service) or b) not sharing at all but would be interested to share. They
include transportation, infrequent-use items, and physical spaces.

70%
BEST NEW OPPORTUNITIES
% currently sharing casually and those not sharing now but interested to

OPPORTUNITIES STILL REMAIN


65% PHYSICAL MEDIA

HOUSEHOLD ITEMS / APPLIANCES


TIME / RESPONSIBILITIES
60%
DIGITAL MEDIA
;0C4=C34<0=3

MONEY (LENDING BORROWING)

55% AUTOMOBILE LIVING SPACE

FOOD PREPARATION OR MEAL


OUTDOOR
50% SPORTING GOODS FOOD CO-OP / COMMUNITY GARDENING

TRAVEL ACCOMMODATION

APPAREL
45%
BIKE

STORAGE SPACE

WORK SPACE
40%

LOW INTEREST AND DONE WELL


LOW PRIOR SUCCESS ALREADY
35%
10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70%

<0A:4CB0CDA0C8>=
$ % currently sharing through a service or organized community THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42
THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHARING
Three out of every four respondents predicted that their own sharing of physical objects and spaces will increase in the next 5 years.

TRANSPORTATION INFREQUENT-USE ITEMS PHYSICAL SPACES


OPPORTUNITY OPPORTUNITY OPPORTUNITY

There’s still a large amount of unfulfilled demand for Many people already share occasional-use household items People are surprisingly unreserved about sharing the spaces
car-sharing. More than half of all participants either (such as power tools, kitchen appliances, party supplies, and they (or their things) inhabit. Both travel accommodations and
shared vehicles casually or weren’t sharing currently sporting goods) with friends, but few services exist yet to storage space ranked among the top 5 categories overall that
but expressed interest in doing so. For people who organize these sharing efforts; 62% of participants either people who currently share in an organized fashion would
share in an organized fashion, cars and bikes were share these items casually now or don’t yet share but share with strangers (given the option to screen other
popular for sharing amongst family and close friends expressed interest in doing so, while only 27% currently members). Physical space is a valuable commodity, which is
but weren’t commonly shared outside this immediate share through a community or service. why more co-working and peer-to-peer lodging services are
network, relative to other categories of goods. popping up and doing well. Moreover, new models of sharing
like fractional ownership are refreshing how we think about
accessing a variety of different spaces.

CHALLENGE CHALLENGE CHALLENGE

There’s a significant opportunity for broad-scale Physical sharing requires a high concentration of local Sharing space simply needs to make practical sense in people’s
transportation sharing if issues relating to member members to offer real value as a service; this can be lives in order for them to adopt it; the act must be attached to
trust, insurance and availability of services (e.g. especially challenging outside dense, urban areas. However, concrete benefits like saving or making money, more convenient
beyond urban areas) can be overcome. there’s a significant opportunity to share household items in access, or access to otherwise unavailable offerings.
suburban areas if services can generate enough visibility and
interest at the hyperlocal level. More than any other
categories of goods, sporting/outdoor equipment and
household items represent areas where people simply aren’t
aware that some services already exist to help them share.

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THE NEW
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“YOU JUST THINK OF THE NUMBER OF CARS ON THE ROAD—THE


RESOURCE THAT WE HAVE IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES IS SO MASSIVE...

SHARING
WHAT THE PEER-TO-PEER MODEL DOES IS IT REALLY ALLOWS US TO
LEVERAGE THAT INSTEAD OF STARTING FROM SCRATCH AND BUILDING
OUR OWN FLEET.”
—SHELBY CLARK, FOUNDER & CEO OF RELAYRIDES,
THE FIRST PEER-TO-PEER CAR-SHARING MARKETPLACE

ECONOMY
THE NEW
PEER-TO-PEER
LATITUDE
A STUDY BY IN COLLABORATION WITH SHAREABLE MAGAZINE
IT’S TRUE THAT SHARING IS A SIMPLE CONCEPT AND A
FUNDAMENTAL PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE. THANKS IN LARGE
PART TO THE WEB, IT’S NOW AN INDUSTRY WITH SEEMINGLY

BENEFITS OF SHARING UNBOUNDED POTENTIAL.


COMMUNITY MATTERS, COMPANY SIZE DOESN’T
Peer-to-peer sharing allows for potentially unbounded
scalability, access to more resources and often at closer Most participants liked the idea of sharing services that felt smaller and more
proximity to us. Because peer-to-peer companies aren’t accessible, like local or grassroots companies (45%) or venture-funded startups (20%).
subject to the overhead cost of purchasing and maintaining a These companies typically foster strong senses of community by virtue of their small
“fleet” of assets all their own, the cost to renters is often lower; size, clear communications, and enthusiastic core communities—traits which needn’t
moreover, members have the opportunity to monetize their be exclusive to small business. In fact, 22% of participants liked the idea of a sharing
own possessions. These peer-based “marketplaces” help the service associated with a major, well-known brand. Point being: regardless of a
environment by using the resources we already available THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY IS ONE INSTALLMENT OF LATITUDE 42s
company’s size, it should focus on earning the trust of its community and engaging
an ongoing series of open innovation studies which Latitude, an international research
more efficiently rather than manufacturing more new goods. actively with them.
consultancy, publishes in the spirit of knowledge-sharing and opportunity discovery.
& I
THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY LATITUDE 42
PEER-TO-PEER PRINCIPLES ALL BUSINESSES SHOULD KNOW

THE NEW PEER-TO-PEER THE APPEAL OF PERSONAL MONETIZATION


69% of all participants expressed that they’d be more interested in sharing their stuff if they could

OPPORTUNITIES FOR SHARING make money from it. Across all industry categories (excepting physical media, apparel, and
money), more than half of participants wished to gain access to others’ assets—rather than being
a lender or seller who provides access to others, so this money-making draw could be key to
scaling up sharing communities.

THE CULTURE OF INDIRECT RECIPROCITY


The most popularly cited barrier to sharing was having concerns about theft or damage to
personal property, but 88% of respondents claimed that they treat borrowed possessions well.
Reputation is increasingly becoming an important form of currency; communities that offer
?7>C>1H9>7=<4H4AB

transparency (such as through open ratings and reviews) encourage good behavior and trust
amongst members.

THE REALITY OF SCALABILITY


In the peer-to-peer model, value to members increases as the community grows: more assets
are made available, often at closer distances. Scaling up communities shouldn’t be a problem
when 53% of all participants are already comfortable sharing amongst people they may or may
not know personally (with varying community protections in place).

“THE CONFLUENCE OF MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY WAS FIRST GROUNDBREAKING IN ITS ABILITY TO
CONNECT PEOPLE TO INFORMATION. THEN IT WAS REALLY ABOUT CONNECTING PEOPLE TO OTHER
PEOPLE WITH THE ADVENT OF WEB 2.0. NOW THE NATURAL EXTENSION OF ALL THIS IS CONNECTING
PEOPLE TO STUFF—TO THE PHYSICAL THINGS OF EVERYDAY LIFE. WE’RE AT A POINT WHERE ONLINE,
SHARED INTEREST COMMUNITIES AND ADVANCEMENTS IN MOBILE, REAL-TIME AND LOCATION-AWARE
TECHNOLOGIES HAVE CREATED A ‘PERFECT STORM’ FOR SHARING IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD. THERE’S
A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR BUSINESSES TO CREATE THE TECHNOLOGICAL AND COMMUNITY
INFRASTRUCTURE THAT WILL HELP PEOPLE TO SHARE IN NEW WAYS, LOCALLY AND ACROSS MUCH
BROADER DISTANCES, THAN WAS EVER POSSIBLE BEFORE.”
—KIM GASKINS, DIRECTOR OF CONTENT DEVELOPMENT AT LATITUDE

'
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THE NEW SHARING TAKEAWAYS
FOR NON-SHARING BUSINESSES
BECOME A WE-BASED BRAND
The growth of sharing suggests a new climate where, increasingly,
people expect that businesses will enable them to improve their own
lives and those of others—whether by making more sustainable
choices, by providing access to help others meet their own needs, or
by spreading the word about a good brand or worthy cause. This
dual-benefit model is worthy of further attention by all businesses,
insofar as it represents a growing reality for connected culture.
Companies can offer value to their communities by acknowledging that
money and products are no longer the only—or even the most
valuable—element of a brand transaction for many individuals today. “THE RISE OF SHARING REQUIRES US TO USE A NEW LANGUAGE WHERE ‘ACCESS’ TRUMPS
‘OWNERSHIP’; SOCIAL VALUE BECOMES THE NEW CURRENCY; ‘EXCHANGES’ REPLACE
‘PURCHASES’; AND PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER CONSUMERS BUT INSTEAD USERS,
FIND VALUE IN SOCIAL AND ALTERNATIVE CURRENCIES
Sharing culture makes it possible for virtually anything, including BORROWERS, LENDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS. ALL OF THIS MEANS  BUSINESSES MUST
specialized skills or knowledge, used goods, and social reach, to REDEFINE THEIR ROLE FROM PROVIDERS OF STUFF TO BECOME PURVEYORS OF
become currency. When asked to come up with their own sharing SERVICES AND EXPERIENCES.” —NEELA SAKARIA, SVP OF LATITUDE
business concepts, many participants envisioned services founded on
bartering (non-monetary exchanges) with others in a community.
What’s more, there’s a sizable new market for trading time and
responsibilities. At present, 61% of participants either share time or
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responsibilities casually or would be interested in doing so, while only
Participants from across the globe (n=537) took a Web-based survey which captured
16% already share through an organized community or service.
sharing attitudes and current engagement with sharing in a variety of contexts, with a
focus on establishing benchmarks for the new sharing economy. The study also sought
Forward-thinking companies like Netflix and Threadless have already
to understand trust, the role of community, and the new psychology of sharing.
demonstrated that users can provide value to traditional businesses
Participants were asked to ideate future sharing opportunities—new models and service
without buying something: through word-of-mouth, content creation,
offerings—across industries for both businesses and society at large.
community innovation, and beyond.

( THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY I LATITUDE 42


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THE NEW DIMENSIONS OF SHARING
Above all, sharing was perceived by participants as borrowing or lending an item for free, seconded by co-owning something with others: essentially,
exchanges that involved no monetary gain, as well as synchronous access or collaborative efforts toward a shared goal. Sharing that was
asynchronous or which might lead to monetary gain on one end (e.g. renting or buying/selling used items) weren’t as strongly associated with the
concept of sharing—but nevertheless chosen as forms of sharing by more than half of respondents.

SYNCHRONOUS ASYNCHRONOUS COLLABORATIVE


LIFE-CYCLE

A cyclical system of access A redistribution system where items Simultaneous collaboration to


where members rent or are passed off—gifted, traded, achieve a shared goal;
borrow goods, then return bartered, or resold— from one owner involves joining resources
them to the central pool for to the next so that they can be reused. like money, time or
other members to access. specialized knowledge.

PARTICIPANTS’ IDEAS FOR NEW SHARING MODELS


CENTRALIZED PEER-TO-PEER
COMMUNITY DESIGN

KNOWLEDGE (multilateral sharing)


Shareable assets are owned by a Members pool their own assets to “Community college 2.0: provide some sort of structure that lets people let other people know
single entity which provides access share amongst other members. The what they know and what they want to learn. If you can get enough people together, everyone is
to members; in a centralized model, member collective is comprised of both both student and teacher.”
all members are renters/ borrowers. owners/lenders and renters/borrowers. —Male study participant, 29, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

SKILLS AND SERVICES (micro-funding)


“... a sort of bounty hunting service for open source projects, where people in need would invest
into certain features/fixes with (smaller amounts of) money. Bounties would therefore accumulate
and developers would profit by providing solutions.”
—Male study participant, 24, Ljubljana, Slovenia

MATERIAL ITEMS (multilateral bartering)


“... person A needs something that person B has, and person B needs something that person C
TRADITIONAL ALTERNATIVE has, and person C needs something that person A has—except that this service would be free,
completely based on bartering.”
CURRENCY

Money Knowledge —Female study participant, 56, Ithaca, NY

$$$
Skills & Services COMPOSITE MODEL
Material items “I'll walk your dog while you're away; you water my plants; I'll give you baby toys I don't need
anymore; you loan me your lawn mower. I think this kind of interaction is part of community ties
Time
and support networks that used to develop naturally and spontaneously and need some
Reputation & Social Reach encouragement now.”
—Female study participant, 38, Providence, RI, USA
LATITUDE IS AN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CONSULTANCY EXPLORING HOW NEW
INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGIES CAN ENHANCE HUMAN
EXPERIENCES. LATITUDE’S USERCENTERED RESEARCH APPROACH UNITES
GENERATIVE, MEDIA-BASED METHODS WITH ROBUST QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS TO
IDENTIFY CONCRETE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WEB-BASED INNOVATION.

TO BETTER UNDERSTAND HOW THIS STUDY APPLIES TO YOUR BUSINESS, CONTACT:

=44;0B0:0A80BE?
=B0:0A80/;0C32>< ;0C32><
SHAREABLE IS A NON-PROFIT ONLINE MAGAZINE WHICH EXPLORES
BCD3H;403 HOW TO DESIGN LIFE, WORK, AND COMMUNITY SO THAT PEOPLE
:8<60B:8=B38A42C>A>52>=C4=C34E4;>?<4=C CAN BETTER SHARE RESOURCES. SHAREABLE TELLS THE STORY OF
:60B:8=B/;0C32>< SHARING BECAUSE IT MIGHT BE JUST WHAT'S NEEDED TO ENJOY
LIFE TO THE FULLEST—AND RESTORE THE PLANET IN THE
BD??>AC8=60=0;HBC PROCESS. VISIT SHAREABLE.NET FOR SHARING NEWS, AND TO
=0C0;84BC4754BCB4=8>AA4B40A270=0;HBC LEARN ABOUT HOW YOU CAN LEAD A MORE SHAREABLE LIFE.

THE NEW SHARING ECONOMY SUMMARY WAS DESIGNED IN COLLABORATION WITH DESIGNOMOTION