|M. David Peterson
>> What do you mean by a sharing economy?
That's a good question, and one not easily answered, as there seems to be as many definitions as there are people who try to define it. None-the-less, from my own viewpoint, the sharing economy is two fold,
- The foundation of give and take, or in terms more in-line with Karma, the foundation of cause and effect in which each effect has a cause, and each cause, an effect. In this sense, the sharing economy is one built upon a foundation in which one gives without any expectation of receiving anything of direct monetary value in return, though through the law of cause and effect, a positive cause will generally return a positive effect, and in many cases, several magnitudes greater than the cause from which is sprang.
To me, this is the foundation in which non-viral open source licenses (e.g. MIT/X11/BSD/Apache/etc...) tend to extend from. There is a need, someone fills that need, and many others benefit from the efforts of this person, or team of people, because of their efforts. Yet there is no expectation that if you are to use the software, that you return any changes you make back to the community.
- The other side of the sharing economy, in my own opinion, builds from this same foundation, but the result is that of indirect monetary gain, even though the original gift was not something in which someone provided direct payment for. File sharing fits into this category, and what I am referring to can easily be seen by the multitudes of artists and musicians who have gained financial benefit, instead of detriment, due to the increased exposure provided via p2p file sharing.
In this case, the sharing economy is that in which builds upon the viral nature of sharing: If I like a song, and I share this song with you (whether directly, via my car stereo, or indirectly, via BitTorrent), the increased exposure means greater opportunity for the artist, and therefore the "sharing economy" becomes quite literal: By me sharing a song that I enjoy, I am promoting the artist who created this song, and somewhere along the way, the artist will benefit financially because of this. In this sense, the sharing portion of the sharing economy is crucial... Without the ability to share this content, the viral marketing aspect of this simply can not exist, and we return back to a state in which much more stringent control is placed upon artists and musicians to fit into a mold in which has been computationally determined to provide the best possible ratio between financial risk and gain.
Of course, thats generally what business is all about -- take the least amount of risk necessary to ensure the greatest possible return. So it would be tough for one to point at this and state "EVIL!" -- no, it's not evil... it's just business, which is why we creative types have such a hard time with the business types -- We don't like to be told what to do, and in a world where a sharing economy thrives, we don't have to for the simple fact that -- well, we don't have to, as in most cases, we can do just fine on our own.
As such, the conflict that we are witnessing at this very moment in our history, as we make the transition from a carefully calculated cookie-cutter economy, into a much more open-minded, free-flowing economy -- The Sharing Economy, if you will :)
At least thats the way I see it, anyway. Would be interested to hear how others feel on the subject matter... Anyone?