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8 Collaborative Economy Resources

The Collaborative, or Sharing, Economy is  making waves. Controversial and disruptive in equal part it is here to stay and growing fast. Whilst many will have heard of, and probably used, the services of some of the major players in the space like Uber and AirBnB, Zopa these represent a fraction of the application, innovation and activity actually taking place.

It is increasingly important to understand what this change is if you are to take advantage of it or avoid disruption by it. How it can provide opportunities for you and your organisation to create value and solve problems is very much part of what we do at twintangibles. But to help you get up to speed we thought we would point at just 8 examples of published resources that we have enjoyed and think are useful and interesting foundations. All but one are available for free

They are listed here in no particular order.


Whats Mine Is Yours CoverWhat’s Mine is Yours.

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers

No list of resources on the Sharing economy could not include what is probably rightly regarded as the seminal book on the subject. Written by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers it is widely referenced and is a good read. Rachel also co founded the Collaborative Lab and you can find plenty of good on-line videos speaking about it – notably her appearances at TED. If you are looking to get a good grounding in the subject then this a good place to start – if you want to shell out the price of the book. Of course there are lots of collaborative retail options where you can find it!





PWC - Sharing EconomyThe Sharing Economy


You know that a sector is making a splash when firms like PWC start taking an interests! This report which is free to download was published in April 2015. Some good statistics and commentary and suggestions about the responses business could consider. They conclude “Whatever your organization looks like today, the sharing economy is too big an opportunity to miss—or too big a risk not to mitigate.” We agree.





Deloite Collaborative EconomyThe Collaborative Economy


A chunky 70 page document produced for Google by the Australian arm of Deloitte it was made publicly available in 2014. What is interesting about it is that it recognises the value of the collaboration more generally and the application of those principles within larger organisations, facilitated by setting the appropriate cultures and making available the appropriate tools. There are those of us who recognise this maximising the value of the capacities of employees as true knowledge management – but the principle applies regardless of the banner under which it flies.

Understandably focused on Australia the report asserts that “collaboration has a net value add to the Australian Economy of $46 billion dollars.”




Nesta - Making Sense of Collaborative Economy Making Sense of the Collaborative Economy


Authored by Kathleen Stokes, Emma Clarence, Lauren Anderson and April Rinne at Nesta and in associate with Collaborative Lab this report is a nice coverage of some of the key characteristics of the collaborative economy as it exists now. For example 25 per cent of UK adults used internet technologies to share assets/resources over the last year

The organisations operating in the collaborative economy are young (64 per cent founded since 2010). It sets out what it describes as 4 pillars of the Collaborative Economy those being: Collaborative Consumption; Collaborative Production; Collaborative Learning; Collaborative Finance.





Owyang - Sharing is new buyingSharing is the New Buying

Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah Owyang is founder of the Crowd Companies an organisation aimed specifically at engage in with larger firms looking to find opportunity in engagement with the collaborative economy. In the report he sets out a clear vision of the opportunity very much from the standpoint that this is here to stay and is disruptive and it should certainly be regarded as a threat and opportunity for established organisations. His time at Altimeter served him well and he demonstrates great practical insight.




Koopman et al RegulationThe Sharing Economy and Consumer Protection Regulation: The Case for Policy Change

Christopher Koopman, Matthew Mitchell, and Adam Thierer  Mercatus Research Centre- George Mason University

One of the most contentious issues for the collaborative economy is the issue of regulation. Some see the ability of some of these new entrants to by pass existing regulatory frameworks as unfair competition. Others argue for more regulation.


Showing a strong empathy and understanding for the fact that much of the sharing economy has distinctive and unique mechanisms of regulating themselves Koopman et al make the point that the issue is largely with the unsuitability of existing regulations and their methods of development and application in such a changes circumstance. They argue – rightly in our view – that “the Internet, and the rapid growth of the sharing economy, alleviates the need for much of this top-down regulation,” and that “When market circumstances change dramatically—or when new technology or competition alleviates the need for regulation—then public policy should evolve and adapt to accommodate these realities” Spot on


sloanAdapting to the Sharing Economy

Kurt Matzler, Viktoria Veider and Wolfgang Kathan – Sloan MIT Winter 2015

An unapologetically academic piece this is in fact an excellent assessment of practical approaches to engage with the Sharing Economy . The authors have identified and set out 6 key current mechanisms of response to the rise of collaborative consumption – those being: (1) by selling use of a product rather than ownership, (2) by supporting customers in their desire to resell goods, (3) by exploiting unused resources and capacities, (4) by providing repair and maintenance services, (5) by using collaborative consumption to target new customers and (6) by developing entirely new business models enabled by collaborative consumption.

With some good examples and nice insight it’s worth a read.


Benkler - Wealth of NetworksThe Wealth of Networks

Yochai Benkler

If you want to really get to the well spring of insight into what is different about the the crowd economy– and by extension collaborative economy – you need go no further than this superb piece of scholarly work by Yochai Benkler. He captures the deep and enduring nature of the change we are experiencing and by exposing this he provides one of the best foundations you can get fro stepping confidently iunto understanding the new and rapidly changing world we are encountering. As he puts it “The change brought about by the networked information environment is deep. It is structural. It goes to the very foundations of how liberal markets and liberal democracies have coevolved for almost two centuries.” On the money and extraordinary insightful given it was written back in 2006!



This list represents just a flavour of what is available – we would love to hear what you would suggest.



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