It’s been a full three years since Rachel Botsman’s famous TED Talk on collaborative consumption in May 2010 and of course, much has happened since then. We’ve seen Airbnb grow from 150,000 to more than 5 million nights booked all over the world, and every business to consumer company being joined by a peer to peer rival (see Zipcar and Buzzcar).
But with so much change taking place all the time, it’s easy to forget that things were not always like this. In 1955, the Journal of Retailing published a paper signed by Victor Lebow which stated:
Our enormously productive economy demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption [...] The home power tools and the whole “do-it-yourself” movement are excellent examples of “expensive” consumption.
Funny, isn’t it how 55 years later, the same power tools have become a symbol of mass consumerism; the power drill, something everyone owned although nobody needed to.
We may not be any better at understanding the big mysteries of life as many of us still point to successful careers when it comes to our aspirations although we think about moments shared with friends and family when it comes to things that make us happy, but there’s definitely change in the air.
And with the massive connecting power of the internet at a click’s notice, it’s easy to see how sharing has become the norm in many people’s lives.
But is it just people connecting with others, or are companies hopping aboard the sharing train? And if so, is this trend accelerating? And what are the most prominent areas? What are the most shareable domains?
To answer these questions, we’ve taken the liberty to go through the directory on collaborativeconsumption.com and gather a few stats (infographic below). The directory currently list 955 companies operating in the sharing space.
With a percent of 13.79%, Transportation seems to be one of the most popular fields of activity, fallowed closely by Home, Spaces and Equipment. Unsurprisingly, Luxury goods fall last, just under Travel. To answer the question of company age, we’ve analyzed the www domains of these companies, and while this is far from perfect, it does give us a statistical answer. As you can see, the graph is clearly going up at a fast rate.
Weather these companies will still be here in the next 5 or 10 years is hard to say but in one way or another the sharing mindset is here to stay.