The Collaborative Economy: Join or Be Left Behind

collabsummitWhat exactly is the Collaborative (Sharing) Economy and how will it affect brands, marketers, consumers and business at large in 2014 and beyond?

These questions were the hot topics at Wednesday’s Collaborative Economy Summit in New York City – an invite-only event co-sponsored by global digital agency, Tribal Worldwide and culture identification shop, sparks & honey.

The half-day summit brought together industry leaders and featured panels with top players in the sharing economy space — including Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst, Crowd Co.; Joe Justice, CEO of Wikispeed; Miguel McKelvey, Co-Founder, WeWork; Nick Foley,Co-Founder, Social Bicycles; Jase Wilson, CEO, Neighbor.ly; and Jerry Needel, Head of Growth, Indiegogo.

The event sparked inspiring conversations on how startups have grown the collaborative economy into a multi-billion dollar industry. Presenters shared POVs on how corporations and big brands will need to embrace this shift toward sharing and a new “agile economic model” or risk becoming irrelevant.

Wikispeed CEO, Joe Justice kicked off the conversation and went into detail about his “extreme manufacturing” business model – one that utilizes the same successful methods of fast-moving tech startups and puts the consumer at the center. It became apparent throughout the day that this was a common thread between the “disruptor companies” – whether you’re sharing a bicycle, office space or home – this new economy is about consumer centrism and the idea that the whole is greater than the individual.

Compared to the introduction of social media, the sharing economy has not been as widely accepted or adopted in today’s society, but that time will be upon us shortly according to yesterday’s panelists. And for companies and brands hesitant to join or unwilling to accept this movement, keynote speaker, Jeremiah Owyang shed some light upon it.

According to Owyang, companies will need to become service providers that operate in the collaborative marketplace. He noted that people are becoming empowered, getting what they need from each other, not necessarily from companies or big corporations. Therefore the crowd is becoming its own company.

Owyang also argued that collaboration effects every single department inside of a company. “Corporations must provide a platform to give people a place to build things,” he said.

Overall, one thing become very apparent from the discussions and presentations – the collaborative economy is here to stay and its starting to shift the way we shop, sell and experience all aspects of life. The only question left is, are you on board?

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Posted on October 4, 2013, in The Hit Board and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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