Sharing Economy Near Term Future Predictions

sharing economy predictions
Sharing Economy Near Term Future Predictions Click To Tweet

I’m breaking from my normal weekly postings on Airbnb tips and news because my Dad forwarded me what amounts to a spam, chain email which I found intriguing and read the entire thing. It talks about future predictions based on the past. But, the interesting thing is, the furthest the piece goes back is only about 15 years ago. It’s absolutely astounding where we’ve come in 15 years.

A quick anecdote: When I was in middle school in the late 90’s, I played a revolutionary game called The Sims. I wasn’t a huge gamer, but this one captured my imagination. It allowed me to live in a different world, one that I created and had control over. The main thing I remember about this game is how the computer was too slow for the memory the game needed. When my Sim was walking down the sidewalk, he would skip a few steps at a time causing a permanent delay. This was extremely frustrating, especially in times needing quick action like when the robber would try to enter the home. But, it’s all I knew.

In a dozen years, think of where we came with video games. I grew up on Sega Genesis, but kids now have never heard the name. Instead, people play each other using the internet all over the world. Virtual reality is breaking onto the scene.

Another anecdote: I remember always carrying a camera in my pocket in college, seven years ago. I did this because the camera on the phone was terrible. I remember thinking that it would be incredible if the phone could also have a camera and music. I knew it was possible and would happen, but did not know how soon it would become reality. The first iPhone came out while I was in college and I remember using my friends to check facebook on the road while driving to Las Vegas. I don’t think it ever loaded because the speed was so slow, but it was still mind-boggling.

Similarly, in 1998 Kodak had 140,000 employees and sold 90% of all photo paper worldwide. Within a few years, they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak (a company) will happen to a lot of industries in the next 10 years. Most industries don’t see it coming. In 1998, did Kodak think that 3 years later photo paper would become obsolete in favor of digital?

In 1998 Kodak had 140,000 employees. Within a few years, they went bankrupt. Click To Tweet


What will the world look like in another dozen years in regards to the sharing economy? Here are my predictions:

Here are my predictions:

1. The notion of “neighborhood” will greatly shift.

Neighborhoods will be restricted to a few areas of permanent residents. Instead of a few short-term rentals on any one block, the entire block will be short-term rentals with a few permanent residents. As Airbnb makes it easier to travel, and the internet makes it easier to work remotely, people will choose to live outside of crowded cities and temporarily in one location. They will be on a sort of permanent traveling experience in one location for no more than a year.

As Airbnb makes it easier to travel, and the internet makes it easier to work remotely...(1/2) Click To Tweet ...people will choose to live outside of crowded cities. (2/2) Click To Tweet

2. Cars will be a public good.

No one will have a drivers license. You won’t want to own a vehicle. You won’t need one when driverless cars are the norm. There will be no more traffic jams, no more parking garages, no more parking tickets, the streets will have an extra two lanes as there won’t be any parked cars. You will order a vehicle from your phone which will pick you up outside your front door and drop you off in front of your desired venue, all while you are productive or taking a nap.

In the future, cars will be a public good. Click To Tweet

3. People won’t own stuff.

People will own a lot less stuff. The clothes in your closet, the snowboard you use once per year, the tennis racket you bring out semi-annually, the bike you use occasionally, even the router in your home will all be temporarily rented from those who permanently own.

What are your future sharing economy predictions within the next decade? Let us know in the comments.

What are your future sharing economy predictions within the next decade? Click To Tweet