The Collaborative Economy Defined


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The Collaborative Economy defined: An economic model where commonly available technologies enable people to get what they need from each other.  

There are over 37 terms being used for this market, but the one that makes the most sense in terms of scope and accuracy is the Collaborative Economy. The above image is a screen capture from my powerpoint slide that I use in presentations, research, publications and with the Crowd Companies council, that we founded at the end of 2013. The honeycomb metaphor is an apt one; as it’s a representation of many individuals working together as a collective, see the matching market  infographic.

While each term has drawbacks, the Collaborative Economy moniker is a wide enough scope of the overall trend: P2P transactions. An example of these peer based transactions include: crowdfunding where people fund each others projects, the maker movement where people make their own goods instead of buying them from traditional retail, P2P lending where people lend each other money instead of from traditional lenders, crypto currencies where the crowd owns the ledgers, and the sharing economy a term popularized by the media where people rent homes, cars or services to each other. The popularized term, sharing economy, while a misnomer in it’s own right, is just a subset of the overall movement of P2P commerce.

I’m not alone, it’s worth noting that the core thought leaders are using the term Collaborative Economy like Lisa Gansky, Rachel Botsman, and Robin Chase and the premier festival Ouishare was the first to use this, even before I. The Collaborative Economy moniker and definition is the right scope and is most accurate for this growing movement. I welcome your feedback in the below comments.