Millennials + The Collaborative Economy

SharingThe concept of sharing has been around for ages.  When you were a kid, chances are it was one of the first things you were taught, right after your please and thank you’s.  At the time, sharing was likely one of the worst parts of being a kid; but those kids are grown up now and have adopted the mentality of: “Why buy when you can borrow?” 


The concept of a sharing society, or more formally termed: The Collaborative Economy, has been on the rise for the past couple of years.  What has truly caused this shift in business models to be so successful is the integration of goods/services with technology.  The ability to search, find, request, pay and receive all through a smartphone gives Millennials the convenience they are so often seeking.  Once rumoured to be a fad, it’s clear that this concept of sharing cars, homes, services and, well, just about anything you can think of – is here to stay, and businesses are taking note.   


Recently launched in Seattle, BMW’s ReachNow is their spin on the “pay as you go car service”; providing users with the experience of owning their own car, without the burden of monthly payments.  Similarly, Ford Credit Link offers groups of 6 people to lease a vehicle- providing a solution to those who aren’t exactly ready to own their own car, but would like access to wheels at any time.  Earlier this month, Jaguar Land Rover also introduced InMotion as a way to appeal to younger generations seeking a cheaper, greener alternative.


Car sharing, though seemingly the most popular at the moment, only scratches the surface of this sharing phenomenon.  New apps are being introduced constantly, catering to needs you didn’t even know you had.  TaskRabbit and Go Butler act as personal assistants; picking up your dry cleaning, making dinner reservations or sending flowers for that birthday you missed (better add in a box of chocolate for that!)  In the tech-world, people can seek advice or personal support from services such as HelloTech, Geekatoo or Fixya for free or well under what you would pay for an IT house call.  


It’s become clear: Millennials just don’t want to invest money in cars when they can hail a personal chauffeur at the click of a button with Uber.  And spending their whole paycheck on a one-night stay at a hotel isn’t worth it; they’d prefer scrolling through Airbnb, the app that allows them to live like a local while away from home.  Just look at it as us all finally doing what we’ve been told to do: share!