Day Nine: “A Sudden Conclusion to a Semester’s Worth of Work”

I cannot believe today is already the closing day to this 3 week long subject. I remember having originally thinking that this subject would consist of dry, straightforward, essay business orientated assessments only a few weeks ago. Instead, to my surprise, it had actually turned out to be quite the stark opposite- an immersive, group induced subject that sparked a lot of questions in regards to how to cater for and design for upcoming, possible, future worlds.

I felt that through the framework of the assignments, I have learnt how to project and create future trends (through a couple of generated drivers of change), also learning how to cater toward these scenarios. I have also discovered a mass of diverse methods in presenting various aspects of future business through the use of a Design Pitch within the constraints of a group, focusing on areas such as; the Business model (finances, how we create value, how we get our product/service out there), as well as using Personas and Scenarios to engage clients on a deeper level of understanding, etc.

Lastly, I’d like to thank Annalise for the tutorials she provided and the manner in which she taught us during our lessons- which was in simple words very easy to grasp and succinct in every way. I’d also like to thank my fellow group members- Zoe Champion, Jake Lennon and Megan Taggart. Working amongst each other was not only interesting and thought provoking, but it actually turned out to be an enjoyable, learning process over these past few weeks (as we were also from different design backgrounds). Our final design pitch felt very successful due to the hard work each of us had collectively put in as a group. I honestly could not have asked for a better group. Thank you.

Day Six: “The Emergence of Collaborative Consumption”

Collaborative consumption, labelled by Time Magazine as one of the ten ideas that will change the world1, is an emergent movement whereby a culture of ‘what’s mine is yours’ is invented through the peer to peer exchanging of goods. Gagan Mehra interprets Collaborative Consumption to be a matching of suppliers with consumers in a large-scale manner. According to Lauren Anderson from Collaborative Consumption, this change might be as extreme as the Industrial Revolution (as the “me” in the Industrial Revolution will be replaced by “we”).2

This movement can ultimately be interpreted as a cure to consumer guilt (one of the issues I touched on a couple of days ago). Users aren’t actually wasting away their consumer products/services as sharing is a cleaner, fresher alternative to owning (which only leads to clutter due to lack of space). Is this movement a reaction to the fact that we can no longer afford to personally own so many things?3 We don’t constantly use the products and services we own, so why not share/sell them amongst ourselves and make a little money on the side?

4

It’s a fact this movement is quickly setting a trend in the post-modern technological era, as what started online as the sharing of information has quickly turned into a full-fledged economy, with individuals sharing their homes, cars and skills with the help of computers and mobile smartphones.5 There are an endless amount of services online that cover these examples, such as; ebay.com, airbnb.com, zaarly.com, skillshare.com and craigslist.com.

To compliment this contemporary development, there are a variety of positive points to supplement this movement, such as; the obvious reduction of costs (hiring out shared resources such as furniture and other equipment could help you get your business started quickly), the increase in revenue (through renting idle goods and services as mentioned above) and the endless amount of relationships to be built (new customers and partnerships associations can only mean good things to your business, resulting in new opportunities).

References

  1. TIME. 2011. 10 Ideas That Will Change the World. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2059521_2059717_2059710,00.html. [Accessed 04 July 12]
  2. TechCrunch.com/ Andrew Keen. 2011. Why The Collaborative Consumption Revolution Might Be As Significant As The Industrial Revolution (TCTV). [ONLINE] Available at: http://techcrunch.com/2011/11/14/why-the-collaborative-consumption-revolution-might-be-as-significant-as-the-industrial-revolution-tctv/. [Accessed 04 July 12]
  3. Article3/ Sona Makker. 2012. Collaborative Consumption: The Cure for Consumer Guilt?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.article-3.com/collaborative-consumption-the-cure-for-consumer-guilt-97705. [Accessed 04 July 12]
  4. Sona Makker, (2012), Unbounded-Marketplaces-Collaborative-Consumption [ONLINE]. Available at: http://www.article-3.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Unbounded-Marketplaces-Collaborative-Consumption.jpg  [Accessed 04 July 12]
  5. Practical Commerce/ Gagan Mehra. 2012. Collaborative Consumption Can Help Your Ecommerce Business. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.practicalecommerce.com/articles/3610-Collaborative-Consumption-Can-Help-Your-Ecommerce-Business. [Accessed 04 July 12]

a)      CollaborativeConsumption.com. 2011. Collaborative Consumption Hub. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.collaborativeconsumption.com/the-movement/. [Accessed 04 July 12]