Next09: The sharing economy

Some of you might already know I've been invited to talk at the Next Conference in Hamburg. This conference is one of the major web conferences in Germany and is attended by lots of different nationalities in Europe and further a field. One of the best parts is its all filmed and put on the web for anyone to follow (its a real shame they don't supply a licence too).

Originally I was also meant to talk last year too, but it all fell through due to Over the Air and Mashed events. Anyway this year I'll be there and I was asked by Anna of the Next09 team to write a short 2 or 3 paragraph abstract explaining my view on the sharing economy. So last night on the train back I wrote this…

The Sharing Economy is something a lot people talk about but rarely
actually jump into. Almost every company is having their innovators
dilemma, they refuse to give it up and just jump at the new
opportunities which await them. However its not simply the companies
fault. The whole way business is done does not reflect a sharing
economy. In actual fact sharing is done at the very end when something
has served its purpose or no other value which can be extracted. This is
usually because we are using short-term and costing metrics.

The smart companies are balancing the short-term money needs with the
long-term needs participators. Their content is a participatory mix
spread all over the net and they are good citizens by releasing
creditable amounts of rich data to create a ecosystem around themselves
and their business. Being a smart business isn't easy work, the
challenges juggling needs isn't a parlour trick, it can only be done
with a strong level of transparency.

Now reading it back, there's quite a few things I want to change and you can tell I wrote the first part with another second part then changed it later without changing the first part again. There's also quite a lot of buzz words in it but its not too bad? The general point is put across and of course I think the BBC with its public remit is a ideal example of a smart company, in some part.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and