Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Global Sharing Day Sharing Selling. One body One bread

Ross McGuinness in Monday’s  Metro in focus , ran a feature on ‘sharing’  – the new rock’n’roll.

Mr McGuinness suggested that individualism is waning and that ‘no matter how selfish we believe we are, we still want to help those around us, even if it means helping ourselves.’

Of course this type of sharing is not freely given sharing,  but one when better use is made of a product or service. What I guess might be described in some quarters as  sweating assets better.

“Why buy something outright when you can hire it for the short period you need it at a fraction of the cost?” indeed 1 in 6 people would choose to hire something over buying it.
The ‘pay-as-you-use market’ is worth more than 32 billion in the UK and estimated to grow by 15% over the next 5 years. Everything from vehicles to homes, from childcare to jobs from clothes to pets is part of the sharing economy.

It is suggested that the growth in the sharing economy is not only as a result of the recession but also because the technology we have in our hands  pretty much 24/7 has made sharing very simple, very convenient increasingly accepted.

Zipcar UK is a pay as you drive car club with over 1,500 cars available across London, Oxford, Bristol and Cambridge. Its customers pay from £5 an hour to use a car when they want by using a swipe card or mobile phone app. Worldwide Zipcar has 767,000 customers.

Founder of the ‘ People who share movement’ , Benita Matofska, has a network of 60 million people in near enough 150 countries.

Wednesday has been assigned  Global Sharing Day where especially between 1pm and 2 pm sharers will take part in The Greatest share on earth.

Although initially the motive will be a financial one , sharers find the process  itself enjoyable. According to Benita, the second time they do it is for the experience.

Zipcar’s general manger Marc Walker suggests that today people have a different relationship with devices and services they use. In the past a very tried and tested way of demonstrating your place in the world was your status, if you like , was through products you might on.

Classically over the years a car has exemplified that. With younger generation it is rather the experiences you have – the things you do- sharing those experiences.

It’s not so much the car but the journey you are going on and the reasons you are going there.

“People value experience a great deal more today, rather than simple product ownership.

This change in values has already led Car hire giants like Herts and Avis move into the car sharing business.

As we become increasingly aware of the limit to the earth’s resources and growing human population, we will all need to share more to survive.

Perhaps the shortcomings of a single day for sharing will lead to more sharing days in the years.

In some senses, none of this is new. People clubbed together to share to form the first companies back in the thirteenth century. The origin of the word company is a sharing one.

“We are one body because we share in one bread”  ( Com panis Lt. tr. ‘with bread’) That can be every day rather than once a year if we choose it !

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