Collaborative lifestyle for beginners

Have you heard about collaborative consumption?  What about the sharing economy? A quick google search will show you there are countless examples and interpretations of these concepts.

It’s striking to see how these relatively new ideas can already appear so overwhelming. In any case, we believe you’re always on time to start learning about them, and hopefully after reading this you’ll want to get involved in take part in the conversation.

In short, collaborative consumption is a socio-economic system driven by network technologies. These technologies enable the sharing and exchange of material or social assets on an unprecedented scale.

Collaborative consumption already introduced indisputable changes in the way we build our online relationships, and that is bringing in a change to how we get things done in our offline lives too.

Every time we use the online as springboard to achieve goals offline, we get yet another proof of how network technologies have a potential to positively disrupt relations of power, influence and trust.

With new lifestyles being enabled through this system, we are starting to witness the onset of what experts now refer to as the sharing economy.

This is to say that the innovations in communication are contributing to wake us up to the notion that hyper consumption is like a house of cards – it leads us to unsustainable lifestyles, and can potentially be the root of stress, anxiety, negativity or even social isolation.

The sharing economy could be just the right antidote for that, as it promotes a more responsible lifestyle, with more rational patterns of spending and consumption, encouraging sharing and trust. Ultimately, it renews a spirit of community which we’re all naturally wired to favour.

Adding to all this, the system is bound to become increasingly efficient, as more of us start getting involved. After all, it feeds on the strength of the communities all of us can form.

Once you start digging in on these concepts, you may be positively surprised to learn communities can take the most unexpected forms. The healthiest ones being those where members do what they can with what they have and where they are.

Why not take a chance to help empower your community? If you don’t let your friends be strangers, you’ll quickly see how simple actions can get you amazing reactions.

Trust – More than just a fad

In our time, dominant discourse has it that everything is going digital. We’re told that even things as trivial as sliced bread can and should be disrupted, a process which can be enabled by the internet and the use of social networking sites.

Yet, with the increasingly easy access to such platforms where we can write or talk to our heart’s content, crucial ideas might be getting lost. First and foremost, the idea that truly effective contact takes doing, instead of just writing and talking.

While social networking sites may allow us to tell the stories we think matter, they alone cannot represent the main building blocks of our stories. We’ve reached a stage where merely adding someone to our contact lists isn’t enough. If we already know how easy it can be to make a first contact, we should want our next generation of social tools to help us earn the right to talk to our new connections again, starting and maintaining positive and enriching conversations. This is to say that the focus of our new social tools should be on helping us recover some of the more tangible aspects that would naturally characterise social relationships, upcycling them to fit more current lifestyles.

We shouldn’t want our new tools to merely take us from one kind of “social networking bureaucracy” to the next, but rather to help us break down digitally imposed barriers, allowing us to seize the value of our networks.

Like in more conventional settings, trust must still be an important anchor for social relationships. Naturally, one of the most positive ways to gain trust is through reputation. Hence, a new generation of social tools should facilitate the process of recording and tracking our own reputation and that of people around us. Linking a positive approach to reputation with the potentialities of social networking should mean trust will start gaining value outside its initial environment, turning into an asset we can use to buy cooperation from others, even people we’ve never met.

This is what leads us to believe in the value of trust as a currency. If we’ve managed to keep your attention this far, we’d be delighted to invite you along to explore these ideas and more. Help us on our mission to prove trust is not just the flavour of the month.

The currency of Trust

We live in a capitalistic world…

Actually, it probably is the most capitalistic world that ever was. Of course, one can talk about the Middle Age, when a privileged bunch of monks and warriors concentrated the nation’s wealth into their greedy hands, but:

a)      I wasn’t there, so I cannot know for sure how things were back then

b)      When things went south – and they often did – these guys were actually the ones to deal with the problems… sometimes at the price of their own lives.

So, what about the world we live in today? Well, let’s talk about a couple of iconic examples from our modern days to shed some light on the matter:

a)      Russia – once the banner of hammer and sickle – is now home to some of the richest “entrepreneurs” on the planet and Moscow stands as one of the most expensive places to live

b)      China – still the world’s largest communist country – is also the world’s largest investor and produces more billionaires per year than any other nation before…

 And it is getting worse…

Of course we know that developing BRICS are showing huge inequities within their social classes, but the USA have some scary figures of their own, too. Here are stunning numbers about how wealth is distributed there:

a)      the richest 1% of folks accumulates over 40% of the nation’s total wealth

b)      the next 19% richer control around 53% of it

c)       the poorest 80% of the population are left with 7%

In the corporate world, the average CEO makes in one day what his/her average worker makes… in a year.

Don’t get me wrong: I am neither a North-Korean spy nor a socialist activist… actually quite the opposite. I am an entrepreneur with the will to succeed and a taste for expensive stuff. But I have a conscience too.

 There are other ways…

I believe the current concentration of wealth in the hands of a very, very restricted number of people worldwide is not the solution: it is not sustainable in a planet gone global. Luckily for us, a growing number of individuals and organizations are trying to build a new path for the sake of most (all?) of us, away from the traditional distribution networks.

Sharing economy, collaborative consumption, peer to peer, collaborative economy… various terms for one same message: we can learn to consume in a different way. Whether it is by sharing providers, re-distributing second-hand goods, buying in bulk, through crowd-funding or micro-financing, we can make a difference in the way we use the resources we need… together.

New companies, new challenges

So what is the next step? Why are these companies thriving nowadays? For starters, more and more people have come to realize that you don’t necessarily need the latest, dearest, heavily promoted item to fulfil your existence. Years of publicity and higher education eventually got us … educated. We learned to make the difference between what we know and what we need.

As it turns out, we probably just need… what suits our needs. It might sound stupid, but this is the real deal: people are increasingly getting out of the marketing vortex and focusing on what they actually, really need. Less bling-bling. Less show-off. Oh, and they want more for less, too!

How do you achieve this? This part is easy to answer: you cut the middle men, you get rid of unnecessary expenses, you buy second-hand, you learn to… share! Easy answer, though quite difficult to put in place (at least if you want to do it in a sustainable way) as no one likes to get out of business.

About trust and efficiency…

Truth is you need two factors for the sharing economy to be prosperous:

a)      Efficiency

b)      Trust

Efficiency – not to be confused with availability – refers to the ability for a company (or a person) to offer to their customers the right product at the right time in the right place and at the right price. A complex yet feasible process to implement, as numerous business success stories can tell.

Trust is far more complex to achieve: companies often spend millions to that end, with uneven results. Imagine then the challenge for the sharing economy – mostly start-ups with little or no funds – when trying to connect individuals with others, strangers with strangers… How can you trust someone you don’t know?

What comes next?

The frontier between real and virtual worlds is quickly fading. Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin… all major modern social networks bring overexposure to friends and strangers alike. Your privacy is a long gone dream. Anyone can access pretty much any information about you anytime… let alone the NSA.

Who can we trust, then? This question is relevant – though futile – to us individuals; yet it is a matter of life or death for modern companies, especially online. In order to create a viable business, you need customers to repeat. Engaged customers. Customers who trust your product. Customers who trust you. Customers who trust others.

How can you buy trust?

AirBnB – one of the most famous pioneers in collaborative consumption – has a solution to the challenge with its Host Guarantee that provides a protection of up to 1,000,000 $ for damages to covered property. Yet it also relies on social referrals for its business model. You simply cannot buy trust: you can only learn to build it, patiently.

So how would companies achieve this goal in the promising fields of Sharing Economy? Some bet on tools. Some rely on money, insurances and policies. Some use the latest technologies. Some try to build relationships through their customers’ existing circles of trust: family, colleagues and friends…

Who will become a Sharing Economy champion depends on a number of factors no one fully understands today. We only know that trust, hard work and mobile solutions are part of the answer. Which ingredients are necessary to blend the magical potion of success will only be revealed in time… so I will try to keep you posted.

Ever heard about Taskrabbit, Yerdle, Lyft or Fajoya? If not… you soon will.

My biggest thanks to…

http://www.fajoya.com/app

http://www.rachelbotsman.com/

http://www.utrend.tv/v/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact/

http://ouishare.net/

Written by:

Dave Cardon

CMO of Fajoya

http://www.fajoya.com/app

Why we built Fajoya

Remember the last time you were asked for directions in your neighbourhood.  And now think,  how did it feel when you were able to send them in the right direction?  If your answer is “it felt good” then Fajoya was made for and because of you.

It didn’t feel good because you finally found your inner tour guide – it felt good because you helped someone.  For our friends we often become tour guides, babysitters, movers, head-hunters, therapists, hotels and personal shoppers.  We do these things because we care, yes, but also because we enjoy it and because we can.

Each of us is connected to our own personal community – our virtual village if you like – in relevant ways that were impossible ten years ago. Facebook allows us to feel closer with our friends as individuals, groups or all at once.  LinkedIn puts our professional contacts and our degrees of connection at our fingertips. Twitter allows us to follow and participate in a global social chatter that spans the sublime to the ridiculous.  WhatsApp, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, Google+, Pinterest – everyday more networks open that allow us to touch and connect with our growing  personal community.

We wanted to boost goodwill in these networks by creating an app that reaches all of their audiences – all of the people who care enough to give their attention – for the specific purpose of being good to each other.  Fajoya creates a network-independent personal channel dedicated to the pursuit of being a better person.

If doing good feels good to you then Fajoya will make it easier.  We want to help you make a difference in your friends lives.