Video: The case for collaborative consumption


In conjunction with this weeks book review on What’s Mine is Yours here is the Ted Talk given by the author of the book, Rachel Botsman. What is presented here is the case study of what the book contains and how she came to write about it. Take a look, it’s pretty interesting and make sure you get the book.

Currently Reading: What’s Mine is Yours


In a day and age where everyone seems to be a mass consumer there are a few companies popping up that seem to go the other way where things are shared.

What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers

The book starts out with an illustration of our over consumerism in the form of the The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A stretch of ocean that is twice the size of Texas and carries about 3.5 million tons of garbage most of which is plastic. This came from the rise of disposable products such as plates, cups, and bottles.

Garbage patch

From the moment you start reading you see this case building and how we came to where we are now  with excess stuff and an abundance of trash. What is so great about this book is that it doesn’t just leave it there but shows how we are creating solutions to this ever-expanding problem.

From Generation Me to Generation We

There is now a significant amount of consumers who are moving towards homemade items, recycled materials, second-hand products, and shared living spaces.

The book touches on companies like Etsy, Airbnb, Growing Chefs, and RideShare, all of which make collaboration and reuse as part of their backbone.

It also talks about crowdsourcing but not as a way to make money but at as a way to solve problems and sharing a huge task, like picking up large amounts of trash, between several people so it takes less time and money. This is also applied to open collaborative tech projects and artists initiatives.

The Millennials are not a generation of Mother Teresas. They are not all do gooders shunning well paid jobs and luxuries for a utopian dream…But they are abandoning the prevailing ethos of their parents’ generation of baby boomers  and adhering more to the values of their grandparents, the war generation.

Millennials are the backbone of this newfound driven collaboration and community of Entrepreneurs and consumers. “Generation We” has created a new value shift.

What will you get out of this book?

This book portrays how the world is ever-changing especially in the hands of Millennials. It’s not all about what “I” can get but what “we” can get and for Entrepreneurs it is important to understand your audience and how new businesses are popping up all the time to meet this need.

I like this book particularly because it helped me understand my own generation and it also gave me insight into what businesses are doing now. I definitely recommend this if not as a way to help your business but as a case study/social commentary of where we are today as consumers.