hans.gerwitz.com

The Sharing Pyramid

Published at safelyignored.com.

Our Seattle house is on AirBnB, Zipcar has freed us from car ownership for 5 years, Netflix replaced DVDs before that, and our office's Cube is a 3D Hub. I'm definitely a fan of resource sharing and believe the rise of access rights (alongside ownership) is a long-term cultural shift rather than a fad.

But I don't know about "the sharing economy". Maybe consumers becoming sharing peers are able to capture economic value that otherwise would be aggregated by the usual oligarchs, but every car that doesn't sell or hotel room that stays empty also reduces the available work for a lot of people of lower income than we the sharing peers.

So what value creation drives the benefits preached by Peers? How is this more than a AirBnB support group or feel-good social club celebrating a cultural shift? I don't understand why I should want to become a Peer any more than join Citizens for Ephemeralization and hold house parties celebrating my favorite apps.

Clearly, there's good cause for the Peers partner organizations, who need to defend themselves against A/B/C/D regulation and hope to influence regulators through displays of public opinion. The West Coast cult of disruption is afraid of being disrupted by government, and seeks to crowdsource its lobbying.

They haven't convinced me I should "protect and grow the sharing economy" for them.