‘Collaborative Consumption’

In an earlier post, we alluded to a concept that was further crystalised for us yesterday at the Optus Vision 2013 event at the Sydney Convention Centre. Rachel Botsman is a British author who is at the forefront of some emerging consumer trends and has recently published a book, and presented to TED, discussing  ‘Collaborative Consumption’. This trend is transforming business and consumerism by shifting power from organisations into the hands of consumers via fluidity of information and the ability to effortlessly pair up wants with haves in an increasingly connected world.


This relationship is facilitated by innovative start-ups which create a platform for individuals to share goods and services with minimal friction. In addition to some of the sharing concepts we discussed a few weeks ago some notable examples include airbnb and taskrabbit. The haves mentioned above may take the form of a spare room, vacant car seat or simply some energy or free time. We all had a little chuckle in discovering that the number one task posted on taskrabbit is assembling a piece of Ikea furniture!

These start-ups have resulted in an unprecedented number of C2C transactional flows. And while using the power of technology to build trust and facilitate sharing between individuals results in an incredibly efficient allocation of finite resources, this is destabilizing the traditional dominance of large organisations in providing consumers with goods and services. So according to Rachel, these “disruptive” consumer trends leave businesses with three options:

1. Stick their head in the sand and hope it all goes away

2. Fight the trend using legal action

3. Embrace the change and incorporate these innovations into their business models.

We’re all in favour of number three!

This is also a perfect opportunity to point out that the Optus Vision 2013 event was the official unveiling of the third Future of Business Report, an exciting piece of research conducted by our team of experts.