The shared economy is in the process of evolving into a significant element of the economic cycle. The idea of sharing things and using them together has worked perfectly well for hundreds of years. All of sudden, however, it has begun to spawn disruptive business models with spiralling customer numbers and revenues to match. Carpooling is becoming a common way to travel and consumers are opening their homes to others e.g. Airbnb. This particular "new economy" is not going to go away again. On the contrary, it will achieve a much more dominant position in the years ahead. Why? Because it accommodates the fundamental human need to be part of a community, share with others, build relationships, make friends and, specifically, to entrust things to other people. Swapping and sharing was common practice long before we had paper money and modern-style companies.
The shared use of resources was based on personal ties and/or geographic proximity However, new communication technologies are radically changing the playing field in a positive sense. The internet, smartphones and mobile positioning services are shrinking the entire planet to the size of a neighbourhood. Ubiquitous social media has breathed new life into a notion of community that had long seemed confined to private spaces and a distinctly modest scale. Now, online platforms and marketplaces are spawning new relationships that, in the past, would never have been conceivable without face to face contact. The shared economy is now an integral part of the global economy. The landscape of shared economy offerings is already very extensive, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs are adding new services by the month.