Lately there’s been a lot of divide in our world, but it’s encouraging to know when people come together, we as humanity are more prolific, economic and happy. In a world where we must work on this divide, individuals all over the world demonstrated this last weekend, that we’re all in this together, every last one of us. It’s important to understand we are moving towards a sharing economy, and in the future, as technology continues to threaten and disrupt jobs, sharing and working together is pinnacle to keeping them.
Brad Stone’s new book The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley are Changing The World, dives more into the successes of the sharing economy where just five years ago, it was all buzzwords. If you haven’t checked out his work previously from Hatching Twitter, this is a must read. These two monolithic companies did not exist less than a decade ago, but combined they are worth over $100 billion dollars and have disrupted the hotel and transportation industries without really owning their own buildings or cars. These services are powered by their users and every step of the way their people have determined how to steer it.
These companies have shown the ability to overcome obstacles and break down barriers through the power of the people. They were met with resistance from the government, but Airbnb + Uber fought the establishment by giving the power to the people who directed this passion to elected officials and if it were not for the people that not only steered the service, but clamored for it, it would not exist.
Vice + Ford recently created a campaign on “Living and Working In The City of Tomorrow” essentially talking about the incoming “Third Industrial Revolution” and the convergence of new communication, new energy, and new mobility. Sprinkle in a couple buzzwords like “the internet of things” and “smart cities” and you’ll see a future that’s truly reliant on human capital to function. It’s not a call to action to start creating Indie Gogo + Kickstarter campaigns, but a prompt to understand the opportunities one has to capitalize on platforms like these and the opening to create new ones.
Transportation and hospitality have been disrupted, and we’ve seen things like Change.org or GoFundMe make waves in philanthropy and the government. Super cool apps like Rapchat in music allows users to rap off of producer’s beats uploaded onto the platform. TWYLA is another cool product that’s essentially Airbnb for art galleries and murals. Those in tech and business are increasingly familiar with the sharing economy business models and playbooks, but its impact has not fully permeated all industries. These are just a drop of companies that show how the power of the people utilizing technology can be impactful to our economy.
Employment is moving to a social economy where new jobs are going to be created. In that economy you need human beings, it’s social capital, not just market capital. It’s a world where people can buy, sell, and create directly with each other using their own skills and resources. With this lens, individuals can understand how to capitalize in a future where companies like Google, Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, and Amazon continue to disrupt transportation, automation and every other sector. So, as we push forward, we have to be an inclusive society that is not fearful of each other, but stands up for the rights of others, because it is only with each other that we can all be successful in the future.