Framework: Collaborative Economy Honeycomb

Above: Version 1.0 of the Collaborative Economy Honeycomb


Understand the Collaborative Economy market in one, single image. Please share widely, with attribution, non-commercially:

The Collaborative Economy enables people to efficiently get what they need from each other. They use powerful technologies that enable Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer lending, the Maker Movement, and the Sharing Economy. If you look closely, the crowd is becoming like a company: self funding, designing, producing, and sharing what they already have.

Similarly, in nature, honeycombs are resilient structures that efficiently enable many individuals to access, share, and grow resources among a common group. Various types of bees work in a collaborative manner to feed, care, and grow offspring and grow the colony.  Furthermore, the honeycomb structure spreads the load across the structure, wastes little in its design, and are easy to replicate at scale.

In this visual representation, this economy is organized into 6 discrete families (goods, services, space, etc), 14 sub-classes (bespoke goods, personal services, workspace, etc) and dozens of example companies (Airbnb, Uber, Shapeways, etc). In prior taxonomies, there were five families, but now we’re seeking rapid growth in the food sector, which deserved its own hexagon.

The companies listed in this graphic are just a representation, there are over 9,000+ companies, many which vary by country and geography. To access the full directory companies visit the Mesh Index, at managed by Mesh Labs run by Lisa Gansky.

Notable Industry Stats:

One of the inspirations for this graphic was the work of former colleague and friend Brian Solis did on the first phase of sharing, which originally catalogued social media known as the Conversation Prism. While we explored a variety of ways to present the information the radial-like nature made the most sense. Brian was generous in his time providing feedback, insight, and more, based on his experience managing many variations throughout the years.

Published in celebration with today’s Ouishare Festival in Paris, with a focus on the Collaborative Economy, and the impacts it has on society. An Thank you to Lisa Gansky @instigating, Neal Gorenflo @gorenflo, Shervin Pishevar @sherpa, Mike Walsh @mwalsh, Brian Solis @briansolis, Alexandra Samuel @awsamuel, of Vision Critical @visioncritical, and Vladimir for the graphic design.

The crowd is becoming like a company.

Update: More on Facebook.



  • Came across this on twitter – followed two tweets, a pinterest link and a blog link before finding the original – interesting how most people don’t bother crediting the source (I know the company name is on the graphic but that’s not really enough if you are trying to be social).


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