Hamburg – Germany’s 2nd largest city – has 1.800.000 inhabitants. How many drills are there in this city? Probably orders of magnitude more than we actually need.
But what many inhabitants probably just need is the holes in the wall, not the drill. For someone who has a drill – to rent out – the friction is probably too much.
The real problem with this drill example is that the sharing economy is really about access, and convenience is a huge factor in access. Sharing a drill just isn’t convenient – you have to find someone nearby who has a drill, find a time to meet up with them, go meet up with them, take good care of the drill, find a time to bring it back to them, and then bring it back to them. Maybe it’s 10-12 EURO to rent a drill.
On the other hand, if you want to buy a drill, you can to Amazon, type in power drill, buy a “Bosch PSB 500 RE Schlagbohrmaschine” for 39 EURO, and have it show up at my door 2 days later. There is a significant difference in convenience in borrowing a drill from a stranger, and what happens if I need to use a drill again in 2 months? It’s easy to see why people continue to buy in this situation.
But the sharing economy isn’t just about sharing a drill – from social lending, peer-to-peer hotels, peer-to-peer task, bike sharing and car sharing, the rise of the share economy is reinventing not just what we consume but how we consume.
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In the sharing economy convenience is a huge factor — http://www.torbenrick.eu/t/r/cuo
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