"The Sharer Bearer"


I thought this was a really interesting piece in the Evening Standard on Thursday, which appears to come back to the idea that technology enfranchises democratisation. We often note that old power structures still tend to hold sway online… so this is interesting to look at, and there’s a range of online tools that help facilitate sharing (though it doesn’t mention Streetbank, which is one of the few I’m aware of)

“It is how technology is transforming our relationship to assets and ownership. Technology unlocks the idling capacity — that could be the spare room in someone’s house, the spare seats in someone’s car, investments that you don’t have in a bank.”

Most of us will have had some experience of this. Airbnb is probably the best-known example, a website on which people let their spare rooms as hotel alternatives. Botsman mentions Hollywood star Bruce Willis, who has been trying to find a way of adding his extensive iTunes library to his will, to pass on to his children — which is not currently possible, even though he paid for the music. “A redistribution market for virtual goods will eventually emerge,” she says.

Entire new markets have indeed opened up, such as peer-to-peer loans or paying for someone to stay at your home to let in the gasman. “It’s a mass democratisation of everything,” says Botsman.

Read full article.