Road Trip Update and Next Steps for Shareconomy the Film

Welcome back!

Last fall we wrapped up our Indiegogo campaign and started planning Shareconomy's next steps. Through crowdfunding we raised an incredible $15K which allowed us to travel across the United States and complete several key interviews. This trip broadened our sphere of influence and got us to places in America where the sharing economy is making an impact.

These additional interviews and those we completed before will be the foundation for Shareconomy the film. It was especially important that we capture the varying stances on the collaborative economy. We interviewed everyone from platform founders and users, to state assemblymen, to sociology experts, to people we met on the streets. By investigating every side of the sharing economy we can better determine it's progression and future impact.

We also integrated ourselves in the sharing economy community as much as possible. We stayed with Airbnb hosts, were fed by strangers, and tried our best to use collaborative platforms when we could. This was not only a great way to travel, and lots of fun, it also put us in the shoes of those using the sharing economy every day.

So after 10,000 miles and six cities we are back in Seattle and ready for the next steps in completing the film. Currently we are rolling into post-production. We are very excited to be working with Killer Infographics who will create the motion graphics for Shareconomy. 

We thank everyone for all the great support we've received and can't wait to finish the project. In the meantime check out some of the photos we took on our trip.

Thank you!

Airbnb CEO Tells us His View on the Sharing Economy

Brian Chesky is not only the CEO of home-share platform Airbnb, but also one of the first to become a billionaire off the shared economy. Last week he discussed his predictions for the Sharing Economy at the Atlantic Aspen Ideas Festival. Considering Chesky's success his bold predictions are worth paying attention to.

He explained that society started on micro-entrepreneurial roots:

"Cities used to be generally villages, and everyone was essentially kind of like an entrepreneur, before there were factories. You were either a farmer, or you worked in the city as a blacksmith, or you had some kind of trade. And then the Industrial Revolution happened." 

Throughout the interview, Chesky makes several predictions about the future of the sharing economy and its impact on society.

Chesky predicts that not only will the industry be able to create upwards of 100 million micro-entrepreneurs, but it will also save us from future recession and robot-worker society. We'll also be living in a world where people can become businesses versus the traditional work-for-the-man archetype. He also predicts that everything will be small with less big chains and outright ownership. "You're not going to have big chain restaurants. We're starting to see you have farmer's markets, and small restaurants, and food trucks. But, soon, restaurants will be in people's living rooms."

While worth the watch, If the 1 hour video is too long for you check out the recap from Venture Beat. Gregory Ferenstein's article "Airbnb CEO Spells Out the End Game For the Sharing Economy in 7 Quotes" breaks down the main points of Chesky's interview.

Let us know what you think. These are pretty bold predictions and the one thing we'd love to hear is a timeline. Is this the future of the Sharing Economy? Will we see it in this lifetime?

Taxi Protests Gridlock Downtown Washington DC

A caravan of angry taxi drivers gridlocked downtown Washington DC this Wednesday. The source of their anger? Ride-sharing services such as Lyft, Uber and Sidecar.

A taxi caravan of hundreds drove slowly and honked car horns as they held up traffic on Constitution Ave on Wednesday. Photo via Washington Post

A taxi caravan of hundreds drove slowly and honked car horns as they held up traffic on Constitution Ave on Wednesday. Photo via Washington Post

Photo via Washington Post

Photo via Washington Post

Cab drivers all over the world have been protesting these new ride-sharing services claiming they have an unfair advantage over traditional taxi drivers. Cabbies must follow strict regulations and require special licensing to operate. Regulations on ride-sharing apps are still being decided and at best, a gray area. 

Wednesday's gridlock has been the newest form of protest from the taxi-industry and it wasn't just in DC. Drivers in London, Paris, Madrid and Berlin brought traffic to crawl earlier this month, honking their horns and waving signs denouncing the local transportation agency and taxi apps.

Wednesday's protest shows that cab drivers will not back down and raises concern as to just how far they will go. Considering that some of these protests have gotten violent, the question now is how (and how quickly) regulators will respond. Driver's voices have been heard in some areas including Virginia, who recently issued a cease and desist letter to Lyft. Where in other cities, such as Seattle, ride-sharing apps have been welcomed as competition to local taxi services. 

"Authorities said Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest opened in both directions around 1 p.m. The roadway had been closed from 15th to 9th streets Northwest because of the protest. The street closure caused other delays in the downtown area. Ironically, because of the protest, some people reported difficulty hailing cabs."

Check out the Washington Post article and let us know what you think. Are these protests getting out of hand or are they warranted? 

Could the Renting and Sharing Economy Save Indian Cities?

Some seem to think so. Gautam Bhatia's recent article in the Times Of India talks about how government planning (or lack of) has failed Indian cities and the Sharing Economy has the potential to fix that. 

"If our cities have lived up to the expectations of our planners, it is because there were none. The current city is merely an agglomeration of accidental forces - migrating labour, entrenched middle classes, daily human toil, public expectation, random division of physical space, and attempts at law and order. "

Bhatia believes that Indian cities should follow China's lead in discouraging private home ownership and instead create rental housing.

"The Indian city needs similar serious physical and psychological measures. Buying a home in the centre of town and private car ownership are now both archaic and unfeasible. The future city can no longer be seen as a collective of purchasable products, but rather, as a service: a dense habitation where all facilities - home, car, office, shop - are available on rent. A permanent place where residence is impermanent. "

Check out the rest of the article here and let us know what you think. 

 

Why are people Sharing?

While the Sharing Economy has become increasingly popular you may have wondered why people are choosing sharing over ownership. In the Report "Sharing is the New Buying, Winning in the Collaborative Economy" by Jeremiah Owyang, Vision Critical and Crowd Companies they asked over 90,000 people why they share goods, services, space, transportation, and money. They found that the top reasons people participated in sharing was because it is more convenient, it has better value and it's a unique experience.

Check out the rest of study here and the recent dissection on why people share here and let us know what you think. Why do you share?