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Bartering for Catastrophe? Not!

Since our economic growth is based largely on non-sustainable consumption, the fact that “sharing” will have “catastrophic economic effects” should come as no surprise. Biologists would call this “phenotypic plasticity,” an organism’s ability to morph into something more environmentally appropriate. Dynamism is the beauty of capitalism. 

Sustainability is progress, not disaster.

http://www.inc.com/business-insider/renting-sharing-economy-could-have-catastrophic-effects.html

Trading Trades

Factory to Freelance: Millions of Experts at Your “Mousetips”

Excellent article about the current and future states of employment, characterized by:

1) no formal, corporate workplace;

2) no formal employer-employee relationships;

3) specialized hired guns replace employees;

4) workforce dominated by the facebook generation;

5) increasing specialization and sub-specialization; and

6) new efficiencies for employers, better bargaining position for labor.

 

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130808135707-7374576-half-of-us-may-soon-be-freelancers-6-compelling-reasons-why?_mSplash=1

Disrupt Car Rentals: Why Do Thousands of Cars Sit Idle?

Someone at the airport must have noticed how thousands of cars in long-term parking sit idle, while thousands of rental cars also sit idle.   “What’s wrong with this picture,?” he asked. Plenty!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2013/07/29/airports-are-the-next-big-battleground-in-the-sharing-economy/?

Mom & Pop on Steroids: How Technology Generates Economic Freedom

We are witnessing a pre-Depression Era paradigm; peer to peer trade without big government, big business and big labor involvement. While laws will gradually mold to these egalitarian commercial modalities, expect our burgeoning economic freedoms to disappear (think 1930s codes) once the next depression strikes.

This article outlines some interesting peer-to-peer platforms:

http://www.rudebaguette.com/2013/07/29/my-bedrooms-a-hotel-my-kitchen-is-a-restaurant-and-everything-else-is-rentable-the-sharing-economy/

 

The Evolution of Novelty

EVOLUTION OF NOVELTY: Like most new, worthwhile ideas or technologies, it’s 1) illegal at first, 2) lobbied against, second, 3) forced upon the establishment, third, 4) mainstreamed, fourth; and 5) finally it itself becomes the status quo, subject to disruption.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/regulation-sharing-economy

Peer-to-Peer Disruption: Airbnb & Barterball.com

If traditional capitalism is so efficient, why are disruptive technologies democratizing heretofore top-down economic systems? Capitalism as practiced by numerous industries, suffers from structural defects best seen through the lens of peer-to- peer networks, such as Airbnb and Barterball.com. 

The hotel industry exudes waste.  Rooms constructed for the sole purpose of hosting strangers, suffer from 66% occupancy rates, despite huge capital investment. Fully one-third of hotel rooms lie fallow, incapable of monetization. Marriott’s tens of thousands of individual shareholders, often capable of hosting guests themselves, lack the necessary infrastructure.  Platforms like Airbnb provide that infrastructure. Shareholders can now rent direct and avoid corporate waste, both capital and operating.

Traditional capitalism also embraces the cash economy, which also exudes waste. We brainwash ourselves into thinking that “it takes money to make money.” Not true for millions of service providers requiring limited capital to sell their time and expertise. Historically, these providers spent heavily on advertising, but platforms like Craig’s List disrupt traditional media venues.  

Sites like Barterball.com similarly eliminate friction between advertiser and media venue, but uniquely eliminate friction between advertiser and advertiser. Advertisers pay cash for neither advertising, nor services received.

Opacity-dependent industries—those hiding from customers, and even more grievously, hiding customers from each other—are doomed to failure.  The information age simply will not tolerate this “structural defect.”  With robust peer-to-peer platforms, these industries themselves will have no place to hide.