The Sharing Economy: Restacking Industry in the 21st Century

“Rubicon is launching a new model in which customers will use the company’s app to schedule a truck when their dumpster is actually full…The potential savings through avoided truck trips is clearly enormous…

At least until recently, car buyers haven’t worried about the excess capacity they were purchasing, as long as the lifetime value of the vehicle was greater for them than its lifetime cost. But the reality is that all that time the private automobile sits idle, economic value is going unrealized. And cars are by no means alone in their lumpiness. Houses, apartments, offices, bikes, computers, clothes, books, toys—all represent goods that individuals buy for their own use, but which bring with them a good deal of excess capacity…

All this excess capacity is what makes the sharing economy possible.According to Oscar Salazar, the founding chief technology officer at Uber, now CTO at carpooling startup Ride and an executive advisor to Rubicon, one reason the transportation sector has been so successfully ‘shared’ is, ‘A lot of people own cars; in some countries the number of vehicles surpasses the human population.’ But excess capacity existed long before anyone began talking about an economy based on sharing…What empowered this new way of doing business was technology.”

Excerpt from Rubicon’s latest whitepaper in collaboration with the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL) at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. “The Sharing Economy: Restacking Industry in the 21st Century” explores the forces fueling this new marketplace. Read the full text here.

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