Collaborative Economy Industry News, Mar 31, 2014


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Catalyst Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Disruption as Capitalism is threatened by the Collaborative Economy?
In a recent New York Times op-ed, economist Jeremy Rifken posited that the sharing economy powered by the Internet of Things might be threatening the future of capitalism. After citing studies by Cisco and General Electric that forecast phenomenal growth of the Internet of Things over the next decade, he retreats to a position where he envisions the Collaborative Economy “flourishing alongside” traditional capitalistic commerce. By his final paragraph, Rifken reduces the role of capitalism, which he sees as the progenitor of the disruptive Internet of Things, to becoming the aggregator that serves and facilities its progeny. What do you think? Read more.

Airbnb’s Vision for a Shared City
A return to the old –powered by new technology. CEO and founder of Airbnb (now valued at $10b) published a vision for a shareable city that shows a return to village-like state. In this storyboard essay on Medium he illustrates a return to local shops, artisans, and makers. This vision is void of corporate logos, large big box stores and excessive freeways filled with cars. Similarly Airbnb announced a partnership with the city of Portland to build this vision, of a city as a sharing platform, See Visuals and Read More.

Lyft and Uber Ensures That Its Drivers Are Insured
Ride-sharing service, Lyft announced on 13 March that it has broadened its liability insurance coverage for its drivers. Since typical policies do not cover personal autos while being used for commercial activities, Lyft has been providing coverage as long as there are paying passengers in the vehicle. That has created an ambiguity gap regarding whose insurance covers the vehicle while it is in service, but without passengers. Even the sharing economy is sharing, as Lyft is part of a coalition of ride-sharing competitors to find best methods to ensure that its drivers are insured. To see how Lyft has addressed the insurance issue, Read more.

Can Crowds run a Company?
Now that we have a new startup named Agora, But it is going to be interesting to see how effectively the Agora concept of democratic commerce works in the real world. In a system that is more complicated than it sounds, the crowd collectively assumes the role of CEO, supplying and reviewing strategic plans, with the plan getting the most votes becoming the one ultimately implemented. While a board of directors makes operational decisions, it remains to be seen if crowd management can be agile or wise enough to make the decisions that have the best outcome for everyone, or if they are just the best for the majority. Read more.

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