The Next Phase of Sharing

Marunouchi - Tokyo - Japan

The first phase of sharing was of media and ideas, we call this social media; the second phase of sharing is the sharing of the physical world, we call this the collaborative economy.

Using powerful technologies like smart phones, mobile apps, payment systems and social networks, people can easily share the following things from the physical world: goods, services, space, and money.

This has upsetting impacts as people can now get what they need from each other, and often without buying it anew, this collection of stats shows how this is spreading across many markets.

It also creates intense friction as power changes hands, as regulators, governments, unions and lobbyists grapple with the power shift that’s powered by the internet.  See this simple news query to see the many stories.

Back to the first phase, social media. If your business card or LinkedIn account lists social as part of your title, congrats, you’ve been a leader in change. Yet we must advance our careers to the next phase of sharing as the physical world starts to be shared –beyond media and ideas.

To prepare for this shift in society, and our careers, we must ask and answer the following question:

“What role do companies play if people get what they need from each other?”

I’m betting my next company on answering that bold question. If you work at a big company that wants to be part of the answer, you can email me at to discuss more.

So there you have it: 1) the next phase of sharing is of the physical world, 2) it has radical impacts to companies, 3) prepare your career now.

(image credits Emmanuel Catteau)