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  • >>presenter: Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, the author of What's Mine is Yours: The Rise

  • of Collaborative Consumption. When I got the blurb for this book, I was really excited.

  • Then I saw Rachel's TED Talk and I was even more excited. She was a fantastic speaker

  • there and I expect her to be a fantastic speaker and then I read the book; loved the book.

  • In fact, I've been, evangelized everybody on my Facebook page to on my Buzz, on my,

  • talking to my friends in person. My friend's 14 year old kid was super glad to hear about

  • share.com cause he's now getting full value for his video games as opposed to half at

  • GameStop. So, it, I think you're gonna find these ideas super interesting, both personally

  • and professionally. I think you know about some of these companies and I think you're

  • gonna find some new companies you haven't heard of that will be useful to you, but I

  • think the book is more than something that's interesting both personally and professionally.

  • It's also a different way of thinking about the world. It's a way, I said, I think we

  • can get by, get past some of the kind of roadblocks that we've got on public discussions. Because,

  • I mean, think about it. Sharing for fun and profit; what could be more socialist or more

  • capitalist? So, it's a chance to transcend old problems. Please welcome Rachel and Roo.

  • [applause]

  • >>Rachel: So. Good morning, or good afternoon, everyone and thanks for having us today. So,

  • I'm gonna talk to you about the rise of collaborative consumption. And Roo and myself have been

  • doing interviews for the last couple of weeks and the most popular question is, "Is this

  • a reaction to the recession?" So, today I'd like to talk to you about why this isn't a

  • reactionary blip to the recession, but a fundamental change in the relationship between producers

  • and consumers and the beginning of what we think is a revolution in identity and ownership

  • that could become as big as the Industrial Revolution or even the Information Age. So,

  • today we thought our focus would actually be on technology and how technology enables

  • trust between strangers, and how this is reinventing sectors from retail to banking to food; creating

  • massive workspaces of opportunity. So, to get started, I thought I would start with

  • an example you're all very familiar with, which we call the Godfather of collaborative

  • consumption, which is eBay. Now there is a popular Silicon Valley legend that eBay started

  • when Pierre Omidyar wanted to help his girlfriend sell and collect Pez dispensers. This is,

  • in fact, a myth made up by a PR whiz. The real story, whoops, it is Murphy's Law today.

  • The real story is that Pierre actually put this broken laser pointer up for auction on

  • his personal website as an experiment. And he was even astonished within 24 hours when

  • a bid came in for 14 dollars and 83 cents. So he contacted the winning bidder to make

  • sure that he knew it was broken and the guy wrote back and said, "I'm a collector of broken

  • laser pointers." Now, it was in this moment, that Pierre knew he'd hit on something really

  • big for two reasons. One, he realized, that it was actually a massive opportunity to redistribute

  • things that were unwanted or worthless to one person. And then secondly, that had an

  • immediate value to someone else. And what he also realized was that the Internet had

  • created this massive match-making machine, with the power to match person A's "have's"

  • with person C's "wants" with whatever they may be. So, no longer was the coincidence

  • of "wants" a problem. So, in other words, the Internet had created the efficiency and

  • access for us to trade peer to peer. But it also did something critical for eBay, and

  • also for collaborative consumption, was that it created the social lubricant, or trust.

  • In other words, we know had the technology to create trust between strangers. Now, my

  • grandma, who the book is dedicated to, is very fascinated by this subject of collaborative

  • consumption and it's funny cause she really gets the heart of the book; she really gets

  • the community aspect. Although, she gets a little lost when we start talking about real

  • time technologies and augmented reality. So anyway, I was last back in London and she

  • asked me to show her the power of this matchmaking. So I went onto eBay and I said to her, "What

  • do you want?" And she said, "I want a pearl, silver-rimmed picture frame for your wedding

  • photo." So, online I went and found one within two seconds and so the seller was called moocowmeadows.

  • So she said, "Well, how can I trust someone called moocowmeadows?" And I said, "Well,

  • you just do." And then she said, "What, I'm gonna pay for it and I can't actually physically

  • inspect the item?" And I said, "Yes." And then she said, "And then we're gonna pay for

  • it before it's actually shipped?" And I said, "Yeah." She said, "Well, how do I trust this

  • person?" So then I started to explain to her well, 98 percent of trades on eBay receive

  • a positive rating and the two percent negative rating, it's relatively minor reasons, like

  • the item arrives one week later than expected. "Ok," she says, "let's order the item." So,

  • we then got into this conversation about reputation systems, right? Now, eBay has proven something

  • incredibly powerful, which is that the trust we form face-to-face can now be replicated

  • online through points, feedback, power sellers and Roo and I noticed that these two principles

  • that eBay had proven on steroids, trust and efficiency were enabling us to mimic the exchanges

  • that used to take place in villages, but in ways and on a scale that had never been possible

  • before. So, in other words, technology was actually taking us back to really old market

  • behaviors. So, we're swapping and sharing and bartering and trading, but they're being

  • reinvented into cooler and dynamic forms that are relevant for the Facebook age. We call

  • this groundswell collaborative consumption and we believe it's a new culture and economy

  • that reinventing not just what we consume, but how we consume. So, a few years ago we

  • started to notice the massive surgance in car sharing and bike sharing and peer to peer

  • rental markets and Etsy labs and food co-ops, and we started to wonder whether all these

  • things were linked and interconnected. And what we believe is that we are sharing and

  • collaborating again in ways actually more hip than hippie and keeping up with the Jones's

  • is being replaced by sharing with the Jones's. I was reading The New York Times, I like to

  • go back and look at articles that really influenced me and there was a great quote where it said,

  • "Sharing is to the iPod what the 8-track is to, sorry, sharing is to the iPod, sharing

  • is to ownership what the iPod is to the 8-track, what the solar panel is to the coal mine."

  • In other words, sharing is post-modern and cool and ownership is becoming dull and backwards.

  • Now, when we started writing the book, we had around 500 examples of collaborative consumption

  • and now we actually have over five thousand from all corners of the world. And as we dug

  • deeper, we actually realized that they could be organized into three clear systems. So

  • the first is called redistribution markets. So, to tell you the power of redistribution

  • markets, about four years ago I bought a bread making machine. Now, hands up here, it's predominantly

  • men, but maybe some of you know Nigella Lawson. Does anyone know? Oh, sweet, yes, Nigella

  • Bites. So, Nigella often appears on the TV screen looking like this. It's the middle

  • of the night, right? And she feels like making cakes and there she appears, fully made up

  • and she becomes somewhat of this domestic goddess, right? So, at the time, I was doing

  • a lot of travelling and I happened to be on a plane where Nigella declared that every

  • woman needed a bread making machine to fill up our homes with these warm and comforting

  • smells of freshly baked bread. And I thought, "Wow. This is all I needed to be a domestic

  • goddess?" So, I bought this bread making machine. Now, bread making machines are huge. I don't

  • know if you've seen them, but they actually occupy probably half of a New York kitchen.

  • And I used this bread making machine just once, but the weird thing was I actually felt

  • this strange sense of relief when I finally got rid of the thing. I had fallen in to the

  • common consumer trap of buying not what I needed, but I thought I needed or what I desired

  • or what I thought I should be. I was trying to keep up with the Jones's. Now, this problem

  • is huge. Consumerism has actually become all-consuming and I wanna give you a couple of steps to

  • support this point. Our houses are stuffed with ice cream makers, electronic gadgets,

  • foot spas, chocolate fondue fountains and my latest spotting, a strawberry slicer. I

  • mean, was life complete before the strawberry slicer came along? So, 80% of the stuff we

  • own, we use less than once a month. Just think about that. Eighty percent of the stuff you

  • own you lose-, use less than once a month. The second thing is there actually 53 thousand

  • personal self-storage units in the United States alone. That's seven times the amount

  • of Starbucks. Now, this is crazy. Like we don't have enough room in our houses for all

  • this stuff, so we start renting and paying for self-storage units? And when you think

  • about it, waste and storage are two end games of the same problem; we have too much stuff.

  • And this is where redistribution markets come in. You've got examples like Freecycle, where

  • people give stuff away, you've got examples like swap.com that Daniel mentioned, or Thread

  • Up, a kid's clothing exchange, where people exchanging things for equal value. And then,

  • of course, you've got reuse market places where people are actually making money. eBay

  • actually just estimated that the worth, the estimated worth of the secondary goods market

  • is 500 billion dollars. So, it's a huge, whitespace of opportunity. Redistribution markets also

  • have massive environmental benefits because reduce, reuse, recycle, repair, redistribute

  • what they are doing is stretching the lifecycle of a product. In other words, they reduce

  • the amount of stuff that end up in landfill. The second system is what we call collaborative

  • lifestyles. So, hands up, how many of you have heard of co-working or social lending

  • or peer to peer travel? Most of you, right. Ok. These are all examples of collaborative

  • lifestyles because it's not just stuff that can be shared; its spaces, parking spaces,

  • gardens, time, skills, assets that are intangible. And the reason why it's so easy to share this

  • stuff is because we've wired our world to share and we can share within our neighborhoods,

  • our offices, or our Facebook network. But to give you two examples of collaborative

  • lifestyles, I personally really like, the first is social lending. Now, the easiest

  • way to explain social lending is Roo has a hundred dollars to lend and I want to borrow

  • a hundred dollars and it matches us together, although it doesn't have to be a direct exchange.

  • And there's some huge marketplaces emerging like Zopur in the UK and Lending Club in the

  • US. Now, social lending increased by 800% last year. Now, I can't think of a traditional

  • bank that increased by 800%. Now, Lending Club did around 11 million dollars worth of

  • loans last year and their expected to become ten% the personal loans market. So, if I was

  • someone like Bank of America or Commonwealth Bank, I'd start getting worried about social

  • lending, that they were actually gonna start eating into our margin. But the thing that's

  • so fascinating about social lending is that for default rate is really low at 0.64%. Now,

  • credit cards are around 8% and the traditional bank is around 5%. Now, in our research, we

  • discovered that the reason why it is so low is that people said, "I trust my peer. I feel

  • more accountable to my peer than I do with any kind of big bank." This is really interesting.

  • The second is another example of a collaborative lifestyle, is called Landshare in the UK.

  • Now, Landshare, there's similar ones in the US called Sharing Backyards or sharedearth.com.

  • It's like a garden dating agency. So, what it does is it takes Mr. Jones with some spare

  • back garden space and Mr. Smith, a would-be grower, and it matches them and together,

  • they grow their own food. There's been over 55 thousand matches in the UK so far and it's

  • one of those ideas that's so simple, yet brilliant, you wonder why it's never been done before.

  • My dad is actually participating in Landshare and the funny thing is it's actually not about

  • the food, right? He has all these kids come round to his neighborhood and grow tomatoes

  • and the first time, in 18 years that he's lived in Hampshire Garden suburb, he actually

  • knows his neighbors names. So, I think it's really interesting that what's happening is

  • its part of this OTO, offline, online to offline trend, where people are forming connections

  • through technology that leads to very powerful community and human relationships in the real

  • world. The last system is what we call product service systems, ok? So, have any of you been

  • to London or Washington or Denver or Minneapolis or Paris, recently, you've seen a lot of people

  • cycling around on bikes. But they're not on their own bikes, they're on magic bikes that

  • are there when you want them and gone when you don't. Now, bike sharing is actually the

  • fastest growing form of transportation in the world and it's a great example of a product

  • service system, whereby you pay the benefit of a product, what it does for you, without

  • needing to own the product outright. Now, product service systems are absolutely ideal

  • when products have, what we call, high idling capacity. So, high idling capacity refers

  • to unused or untapped value, of a good. So a car that sits idle for 23 hours a day, the

  • evening dress that you wear once and that sits in your wardrobe has high idling capacity.

  • Now one of my favorite metaphors for this is who owns a power drill? Wow. A lot of men,

  • so around 80% of the room own a power drill. Actually, half of all households in the US

  • own a power drill. Now that power drill will be used between 12 to 13 minutes in its entire

  • lifetime. Now, when you think about it, it's really crazy. You're laughing, but it is crazy

  • because what you need is the hole, not actually the drill, and that's a great example of the

  • shift in mindset about a whole generation of people growing up saying, "Hang on a minute.

  • I want the benefit of that product and I can access that through different ways." Peer

  • to peer rentals, such as Zilok, is a great example. Now product service systems have

  • actually been around for years. Just think of libraries or laundress, but we believe

  • that we're entering a new era of supercharged appeal for two reasons. One, we now have the

  • technology to make sharing frictionless, convenient and fun. And two, our relationship to satisfy

  • what we want is far less material than any previous generation. I don't want CDs. I want

  • the music it plays. I don't want videos; I want the movie it carries. I don't want an

  • answering machine, I want the message it saves. In other words, we don't want stuff; we want

  • the needs or experiences it fulfills. So, we're entering an era where access is better

  • than ownership, as Kevin Kelly puts it, or where usage trumps possession. Now, these

  • three systems are fusing together and creating a dotted line between what's mine, what's

  • yours and what's ours. I thought you guys might actually appreciate that there's someone

  • in Parsons, it's a magic things starting to happen around collaborative consumption, where

  • it's becoming a movement, which was always our intent. And we get sent all these wonderful

  • things from all around the world of people making videos, someone sent me a jewelry collection

  • she's made, inspired by the things that we're saying, which is a little weird, but lovely

  • as well. And some students at Parsons had actually started to use Google Maps to map

  • all the examples of collaborative consumption by the systems in New York City. So, I'll

  • send this link to you, but it's pretty cool, the things that they're starting to do. And

  • this student actually wants to open it up to the rest of the world to create a world

  • map of collaborative consumption examples. So, how big is this thing? Is it a niche,

  • or is it a trend or is it really a groundswell that we talk about? So, we've made this little

  • video that's gonna load and work to show you just how big it really is. And hopefully,

  • it will work.

  • [electronic music] [video plays for 2:23 minutes]

  • So, it's pretty big and it's during its nascent stages. So, just like to now talk about why

  • we think its emerging now and I hate this word, cause its cliché, but it's actually

  • a perfect storm of four key drivers. Now the first is two big global contextual facets,

  • pressing on unresolved environmental concerns and a global recession that has fundamentally

  • shocked consumer behaviors. Now, I don't like to talk about it being frugal, because I think

  • what's actually happening is that we are seeing a questioning of the health of the consumer

  • system in a way that we've never seen before. I mean, if you look at the number of articles

  • coming out around happiness and fulfillment and satisfaction, this is all connected to

  • does consumerism make you happy? Thomas Freedman, who is one of my favorite columnists, wrote

  • something which I thought summed up nicely, he said, "2008 was when we hit a wall when

  • Mother Nature and the market both said, 'No more.'" Now, we know that a system that's

  • based on selling more and more stuff is an environmental and economic Ponzi scheme, yet

  • it's really difficult for us to figure out what we individually should do. Now, our hypothesis

  • is that as the consumer system got bigger, it pushed us further and further apart, but

  • now that it broke, it's actually snapped and it's pushing us back together. All around

  • us we're seeing an resurgence around the belief in community, both in the virtual and the

  • real worlds. Volunteering makes it through the roof, bike sales have never been higher,

  • cooking and sewing classes are doing a roaring trade. And as you saw in that video, there's

  • now one thousand more farmers markets than there are Wal-Mart's in the United States.

  • Now, Facebook recently hit 500 million users and we actually think that Facebook and farmers

  • markets have a lot in common with each other because all around us, we're seeking to be

  • a part of communities of people with shared interest. We're working to feed our social