Collaborative Consumption determines your Reputation Capital

At TEDxSydney, Rachel Botsman says we’re “wired to share” — and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior.

Collaborative Consumption is an extremely powerful dynamic that has huge cultural and commercial implications. Technology is enabling trust between strangers. To quote Rachel: “we now live in ways that are more hip than hippies“.

As noted by Jeff Jarvis (WWGD – What Would Google Do?) and Chris Anderson (The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More) the internet is removing the middlemen so that producer and consumer and connect peer-to-peer. This is the Peer-to-Peer revolution. We are moving from passive consumers to creators and highly involved collaborators.

To quote a third great thinker in this area, Kevin Kelly, the credo of our new society is that ‘Access is more important than ownership‘. This dynamic is tapping into our primate instincts. As monkeys we were born to share and collaborate.

Collaborative consumption is where 3 systems are coming together, allowing people to come together without having to sacrifice their lifestyles or their personal freedoms. They are:

  1. Redistribution markets (she calls it the fifth R: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repair and Redistribute; because they stretch the life-cyle of a product and thereby reduce waste)
  2. Collaborative lifestyles (the sharing of resources like money, skills and time) are changing the way we live. The example she uses is
  3. Product Service Systems (you pay for the benefit of a product without needing to own it) This is ideal for products with a lot of idle-time.

She uses the example of Zipcar to demonstrate the creation of a new social currency called Reputation Capital. This could become as powerful as our credit rating. Wow… trust as a currency!

Colaborative Consumption may well be the next Industrial Revolution. Mark my words… and Rachel’s