Albert Qian
December 22, 2014

Clueing in on the Collaboration Economy

Curatti Social Media Recap #2

We’re in the final weeks of 2014, rapidly approaching the New Year celebrations. 2014 has been yet another banner year for social media, digital marketing, and the era of curation as the companies surrounding the trend make waves. In a 10 article series, we have been counting down the events of the year and looking at how each of these events presents a key and critical takeaway for what matters in marketing, and more.  In today’s penultimate post, we look at the impact of social media and the collaboration economy.

The last few years have been great for sharing. From our cars to our homes, to yachts and airplanes, new economies have been created around distributing what already exists, to the masses. And the impact has been huge. Let’s look at some facts:

  • Uber, the car sharing company has disrupted San Francisco, the city where the company is headquartered. Traditional taxi rides have dropped over 65% in the past year according to reports. Yellow cabs continue to protest and adopt, albeit very late. Uber also netted an $18.2 billion dollar valuation as well.
  • 68% of those surveyed are willing to share their own assets.
  • There are more than 7,400 sharing economy initiatives currently active around the world.
  • Airbnb, the home sharing collaborative economy startup, netted huge valuations this year, controversy, and a response from the CEO

There’s no doubt in saying that the collaboration economy is a big one. As the reader, you might be wondering how any of this has anything to do with social media, outside of the fact that many of these apps tie into Facebook so that users can see that the other ones are real. Here’s what we at Curatti think:

  • Both of these industries are predicated on sharing. Social media is all about sharing content to create meaning while the Supply-Chain-Collaborationcollaboration economy is all about sharing what’s meaningful to create relationships or an experience. As we have discussed here in the Content of People era, with customers at the center of the experience, it’s important that they get involved as much as they can.
  • Both of these industries prepare us for the future. The collaboration economy takes into account the notion that population growth will explode in the next few decades and the migration of populations to city centers means that ultimately many will end up sharing what we have as opposed to using things individually. The social media world has brought about for this since many use social networks to meet new people for business or social purposes.
  • Both of these industries are focused on the experience, in addition to the product. Boatbound is all about riding boats, Uber about cars, Airbnb about real estate, Khan Academy about learning, and so forth. Social network founders in the early 2000s understood the meaning of being able to create an experience that keeps users coming back, notably Facebook with the development of apps to draw people away from MySpace. Collaboration economy founders, while fraught with controversy, understand the same concept of being able to deliver on an experience.

What all of this means going forward for marketers, social media specialists, and small business owners is the notion of community in 2014, and what it will become in 2015. The collaboration economy and it’s growth represents the growing interest of people to be together, do business together, and be in community to provide greater things for each other. Much like the tribal nature that humans had back in the stone age, the collaboration economy represents a revival but with the technology and assets we already have.

The Curatti Takeaway

With 12 industries coming into view and even more on the way according to former Altimeter Analyst and founder of Crowd Companies, Jeremiah Owyang, this industry will only get bigger in 2015. That’s why after all, we placed it at #2 on our list of the biggest things happening in social and digital for 2015. For business owners, it’s important to understand the power of collaboration as well as where it’s going to understand how consumers are spending their money in the Content of People.

Stay tuned, like everything else on our list so far, this one promises to be wild too.