Today no one would understand their day to day without the existence of new technologies and their application to the shared economy, “sharing economy”, in English. The truth is that they are also present in the consumer habits and personal finances of families. Social networks, electronic commerce have become indispensable platforms for the development of companies and personal projects.
What began as an adventure in a garage of some students with innovative spirit glass and a considerable weight in the generation of wealth of the current world. In a relatively short space of time, projects like Google, Facebook, Apple, Tesla have managed to compete face to face with the largest companies in the main stock exchanges of the planet that have taken decades and centuries to consolidate in the world market.
The crisis, cradle of the shared economy
The most important thing is that this adventure has only just begun. Interestingly, the businesses that emanated from the Internet in the last decade made their way and penetrated the spirit of consumers in the midst of one of the most severe economic crises of the last century, providing wealth, progress and employment. Perhaps, it was the severity of the crisis that provided the breeding ground necessary for the rise of the new shared economy. Finally, large companies have not been able to escape the technological haze to grow in business, personal and, of course, customers:
- Today nobody seeks work without using employment networks such as LinkedIn or Monster. Today no one hires insurance without using comparators like Rastreator.
- Today nobody searches for accommodation without consulting the real estate market web like Idealista, Fotocasa or its comparables in other countries.
- And much less when it comes to planning our leisure, our vacations, our trips. Those that many of us are enjoying these days.
And the list does not end there, according to the Observatorio Cetelem del Motor , 97% of young Spaniards use the Internet as a means of consultation in the process of purchasing a car and social networks stand out as the most consulted platforms. New technologies applied to the social economy continue to open the way in sectors such as personal transport in the city (from the car to the bicycle), the financing of business projects (crowdfunding) or the issuance of virtual currency such as Bitcoin.
The indispensable cohabitation between new and traditional
The most positive thing is that, although the initiatives of success of the shared economy have modified many traditional business models, they have not done away with them and have allowed a coexistence to be maintained, giving the citizen more possibilities to choose, more comfort and more freedom . It is true that his landing in daily life has not been exempt from some controversy that has occupied the pages of the media.
The latest protests in the taxi sector against the push of Uber or Cabify in Spain are a clear example. But neither can it be affirmed that the new companies of shared economy have extinguished traditional sectors. The performance of the Administrations and the normative changes have smoothed the edges of coexistence between the new economy and the traditional one. Thanks, in part, to the new technologies that in the form of applications have given oxygen to partly obsolete models and in need of renewal.
Without leaving the taxi sector, applications promoted by the organizations themselves such as MyTaxi, TaxiClick or TaxiYa, have placed the sector at the heart of the new millennium and have risen to the wave of shared economy, only with an Internet connection:
- They allow the driver to indicate where we are without the need to know the address.
- Pay for the journey from your mobile.
- Book a taxi four days in advance.
- Know how long it will take the taxi to pick us up.
- Know an approximate price of the trip at the moment of requesting the service.
- Reserve a vehicle adapted to special needs (disability, travel with a pet), with the same ease as any user.
At the dawn of the 4th industrial revolution
The new technologies have propitiated what economists already defend as the fourth industrial revolution in an undeniable way. It is surprising to see that:
- The largest taxi company in the world, Uber, does not have its own vehicles.
- The largest holiday rental network, AirBnB, does not have real estate owned by it.
And the figures, as always, sing. In 2014, Uber’s global turnover reached 2,910 million dollars. In 2017, despite recording losses and encountering multiple administrative barriers, it invoiced 37,000 million dollars. In less than a decade, the project that began as an experiment with three cars operating in New York has aroused the interest of international investors and it is very possible that in 2019 accompany Google, Facebook or LinkedIn in the stock markets.
Cabify, the Spanish example of Uber, has experienced an equally spectacular growth since its founding in 2012. Currently, in addition to Spain, it operates in Portugal and in 10 countries in Latin America.
Airbnb, after 10 years of operation, reached a market value of 25,000 million dollars in 2016, ahead of major hotel chains such as Marriot, Starwood or Wyndham and at the height of Hilton Worldwide (27,000 million dollars).
The success of these companies of shared economy, whose examples do not expand to not make this post of Domestica your Economy endless and give it a didactic varnish, has been to give value to thousands, millions of underutilized assets, and bring them closer to society in a way:
- And cheap.
In short, the achievement of the shared economy has been to take advantage social and economic to the new technologies, with Internet to the head and the generalization of the mobile telephony. The idea is still essential, in this fourth industrial revolution and in the previous ones. The novelty is based on two axioms that make the difference:
- The possibility of carrying it out thanks to the technological development without external support of initial investment.
- And to the socialization of the action: although it sounds strange “to share is to win”.