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The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork

The Sharing Economy is Thriving: Just Look at WeWork


The sharing economy is so much more than Airbnb. The sharing economy continues to progress on a daily basis and shows no sign of dissipating any time soon. The recent success of WeWork is ample proof of that.

New York-based WeWork, which provides shared workspaces, recently received a $300 million investment from Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, which catapults the company’s value to more than $17 billion.

Not too shabby for a sharing-economy business founded seven short years ago.

Perhaps it’s more of a surprise that the post-millennium concept took so long to be discovered in the first place. Rooted in convenience and cost-savings for consumers, and ancillary income opportunities for businesses, the sharing economy is the perfect blend of modernism and common sense.

Airbnb was the first of this breed to truly take hold on a global scale, facilitating part-time rentals for houses, apartments and other living spaces. This essentially bypasses the need for hotels for many consumers while providing a more intimate experience at their destination. Since Airbnb was founded in San Francisco in 2008, numerous other examples of sharing economy have sprouted up, particularly in recent years.

Most metropolitan areas now offer a bicycle-sharing service, in which individuals can rent a bike on a short-term basis at Point A and return it at Point B. RelayRides facilitates the use of neighbors’ cars, enabling individuals to rent cars by the day or the even by the hour. DogVacay serves as an alternative to the kennel, allowing dog owners to utilize a host home – kind of like dog sitting to the max.

You don’t have to scrutinize closely to realize the sharing economy is everywhere. Even seemingly minor conveniences are aided by the concept, such as vacuums at apartment communities. Some apartments on the West Coast have a program where residents pay a small monthly fee for a high-tech vacuum that is kept in a centralized location on each floor. For those without a vacuum, this offers residents an alternative at a fraction of the cost. The community, meanwhile, makes a profit on the original purchase.

Part of what makes the sharing economy great for all involved is that participants can pay a portion of the total but the sum of all those portions is often higher than the "regular cost for the whole thing.” WeWork’s original idea was simple: Make use of unoccupied space by renting it out to small businesses, freelancers and others seeking temporary workspace – allowing them to pay less but benefit from the whole. A company built around the idea of community – a collective designed to engage the sharing of space, the sharing of thoughts and ideas.

Now, the company’s net worth is measured in billions. Goes to show that sharing is caring.

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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

The article would be more relevant if you wrote about WeWork's new venture, WeLive.

  Ann Dykstra

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