Airbnb (www.airbnb.com) started in August 2008 as a booking service letting private, spare space around the world, a marketplace that connects people who need temporary living spaces, to people who have extra spaces. The extra spaces could be a spare bed, a room, an apartment or even a villa. In five years’ time they now have over 10 million nights booked, have over 300,000 listings worldwide, operate over 33,000 cities in 192 countries and have over 600 million Social connections.
This idea is called by various terms as “collaborative consumption”, the “asset-light lifestyle”, the “collaborative economy”, “peer economy”, “access economy” or “sharing economy”.
Like Airbnb, one can rent automobiles, kennels, rides, solar power, toys, books, art, fashion, movies, sugar and spices, food, storage, lending, bartering, education and even maids, friends and nannies !
Google, General Motors, Avis, BMW, Toyota, Barclays, Ford, Radiohead and many other big brands and organizations have all jumped into the ‘collaborative consumption’ bandwagon to supplement their business strategies
Objective of study
Understand and explore the reasons behind this consumer behavior. What made it possible now and not earlier? What are the regulatory and other challenges? Why are large organizations in mainstream business investing in this model? Is perceived as a threat or an opportunity? Is it an attractive industry model? What makes it attractive? Is it disruptive?
Collaborative Consumption is an attractive and disruptive model. The emergence of social media and its adoption have increased trust factors in consumers and fostered the ‘sharing’ behavior amongst them. The advancements in ICT and mobile pervasion has also contributed in lowering the barriers for entry. Opportunity exists in building a whole new ecosystem around collaborative consumption model in terms of supply