Thanks to initiatives such as Uber and AirBnB, there is a business model that has become very popular in recent years: the sharing economy.

Some call it "flexible economy", some call it "solidarity consumption", some call it "solidarity economy".

Although a clear definition has not been reached about the sharing economy, but in this article we will discuss this business model in different dimensions.

What is Sharing Economy?

First of all, we need to examine the elements contained in the concept of sharing economy. Sharing economy refers to a highly flexible economic network above all. The sharing economy, which enables people to exchange products or services with each other in an extremely simple way, also includes issues such as common working space, joint staffing, crowdfunding.

Thanks to the sharing economy, you can collect donations from people for the movie project you want to shoot, work in the same office with different companies, and stay at a person's house instead of a hotel.

In other words, the sharing economy, which makes the exchange of demanded resources easy, is based on efficiency. In many cases, a product that person A doesn't use may be just what person B needs. The sharing economy is also based on the efficient use of these products and services.

Of course, technology is indispensable for all these to be possible. Internet and smart devices are the most basic tools for communicating with the other party, doing research, looking at homes on Airbnb, calling Uber.

And above all, everyone can participate in the sharing economy. You may even have taken an action in the field of sharing economy, unaware of the concept of "sharing economy".

So what kind of services does sharing economy include? Let's take a look at them.

1. Renting a House and Searching for Places to Stay

Platforms such as Airbnb, Couchsurfing, VRBO unite hosts and people who seek accommodation while traveling. The owner charges his house or room a night and specifies the hours / days the house is available. In this way, people who are in another city for business or vacation have the opportunity to stay in a house in their desired neighborhood that suits their budget and taste.

Some platforms implement security protocols, taking into account the potential risks of staying in a stranger's home. For example, when you want to rent a house through Airbnb, both the host and the person staying at home have to upload their credentials to the Airbnb system.

VRBO also supports the landlord to receive a certain deposit from the residents and asks the landlord to make a lease on issues such as "number of people to stay at home, noise level". But he still leaves the basic initiative to the host.

When it comes to the tourism and hospitality industry, the basic unit is the hotel room. In home sharing platforms, sharing of flats and detached houses is in question. Home sharing platforms provide comfort elements such as balconies and kitchens, especially for those who will stay for a long time. People who used the hotel only for sleeping before can access more comfort elements with a generally lower price policy than hotels through home sharing websites.

In addition, if you really want to get to know the city you are traveling to and if you are one of those who prefer to get away from the touristic areas and blend into the city, you have the opportunity to rent a house via Airbnb in any district.

2.Ridesharing

Vehicle and ridesharing platforms, on the other hand, provide many benefits to both the vehicle owner and those who need a vehicle. For example, people who do not want to enter the traffic in the city but do not want to endure the inconvenience of public transport, can call taxis to take them wherever they want with a few clicks through certain applications such as Uber. Thus, people who do not own a vehicle can easily benefit from the blessings of a car; It does not deal with the expenses such as gasoline, traffic, insurance, maintenance, which come with owning a vehicle.

Thanks to Uber and Lyft, anyone can take a taxi with their own vehicle and receive payments through these mobile applications. Applications such as BlaBlaCar, Car2Go, and Zipcar are also companies that adopt the common use of vehicles. You pay these companies for the time you use the vehicle. New companies such as GetAround also allow the owner to rent the car on an hourly and daily basis on days when he is not using his vehicle.

We can say that the taxi and rental car sector has started to become obsolete, especially in the USA and western countries, thanks to such new applications. Vehicle sharing platforms enable these sectors to keep up with technology and reconsider their price policies. Although the taxi and rental car industry has been operating since the invention of the automobile, we can say that the new platforms have put their future in danger. In our country, the taxi drivers and government pressure for Uber Uber driver is canceling the work permit in Turkey recalled.

Depending on the location and distance, using Uber and Lyft can be almost half cheaper than using a traditional taxi. Platforms such as Car2Go and Zipcar, on the other hand, invoice only the amount of time used, so we can predict that the whole-day car rental concept will disappear over time. Likewise, GetAround encourages efficiency by allowing vehicle owners to rent their idle cars for $ 5 an hour.

3. Coworking

Shared office use or workspace sharing allows people to share the rent and other expenses of an office with other people. So you can work with 2 small companies and many freelancers in an area of ​​150 square meters. Thus, as a small company, you do not go under the cost of renting an office alone.

Especially ideal for freelancers and small companies, co-working spaces are provided by Workinton, COCO, Link Coworking and many more. However, there are many common working areas in our country that carry out this business with a boutique understanding without turning it into a "franchise". We can count common offices such as Office Istanbul, Plaza Cubes, Impact Hub Istanbul, and Kolektif House.

For a daily or monthly fee; unlimited coffee, tea and internet available; If desired, an extra fee can be requested for different services in the common working areas, which also have conference and meeting room facilities. So you may have to pay extra for things like conference room, mailbox, locker. However, in any case, the cost of co-working spaces located in the busiest parts of the city is the cost of an office you will keep on your own.

4. Crowdfunding

The basic rationale in crowdfunding is to bring together people who need money for their project and people who are willing to pay. Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the most popular crowdfunding platforms in this regard. These sites bring together entrepreneurs, artists and people who have a project they want to realize and people who will provide them with financial support for these works.

For example, you want to make a short film. You need 5000 lira for players, transportation, camera rental. You are creating a campaign about your short film on Kickstarter. You are telling about your short film, explaining why you need money. If people like your project, they pay you as much as they wish. With crowdfunding, you do not have to pay back the money you received. However, returning to the short film example, you can make gestures to the people who support you, such as the opportunity to watch the first edit of the film, to ship the poster of the film, and the courtesy of naming them at the end of the film.

There are also crowdfunding platforms that enable small companies and startups to receive investments by giving shares from the company. It is given a name like "the capital of the crowd".

When it comes to traditional financing and investment procedures, it can be very difficult to get investments, funds and even loans. It may be risky for startups and small companies to use bank loans because banks provide high-interest loans. However, in crowdfunding, financing business ideas and projects is easier and less risky. A better solution may be to explain your idea or project well and advertise your crowdfunding campaign rather than applying for loans and funds.

5. Interpersonal Lending

Peer-to-peer lending platforms also avoid dealing with traditional banking procedures. The interest rate is determined by the intermediary platform based on the loan record of the borrower. However, on these platforms, the lender must take certain risks. Borrowing and lending transactions can be made through sites such as Lending Club, Prosper, and Sofi.

Getting a loan from a bank is not possible for many people today. Because banks give ratings to these people according to the past activities of the people to whom they will lend. It is not possible to give credit to people who cannot obtain the credit rating determined by the bank. It has become easier to borrow money with such peer-to-peer lending sites. The widespread use of such platforms may also soften banks' lending policies.

Alex Wieandt and Sebastian Moenninghoff, academics from the Otto Beisheim School of Business, believe that the interpersonal lending system emerged as a result of the "internet, innovation and banking regulations provided by startups". Technology has made it easier and safer to find people seeking debt. However, these platforms are not liable for unpaid debts because their role is intermediary.

This may cause lenders to face some risks. Considering this, it is an example of a sharing economy that can be evaluated around mutual consent among those who want to make use of their money and need urgent money.

6.Product Buying and Selling

If you bought and sold something from the Owner, using sites such as eBay, letgo, you know the concept of sharing economy. Through these sites, you can buy and sell sometimes new and sometimes second-hand products. While doing this, you do not have to meet with the buyer or seller.

When it comes to shops, shopping malls and more generally the retail industry, the profit share is also high. Such places sell a new or second-hand product and add a dividend on top of the product. When you use sites such as Letgo, Owner, you get rid of intermediaries and intermediary costs.

Remember that even products that you have not used for years may have buyers on sites based on sharing economy. It should also be noted that there is a spiritual pleasure of shopping and buying second-hand products on such sites. Rather than buying a new product, having a product that can meet your needs at a more affordable price is something that almost everyone can want.

7.Sharing Knowledge and Skills

For example, you are a math teacher but you work in a job that is not related to mathematics. If you want to make money through your knowledge of mathematics, the sharing economy offers you useful alternatives in this regard.

If we examine the sharing economy platforms based on knowledge and skill sharing, a situation arises.

If you have strong manual skills, you can get jobs such as furniture production, garden maintenance, painting on Taskrabbit or Armut.com.

Liveperson allows you to contact people who can help you with issues such as psychological counseling or technical computer support.

If you are a freelance graphic designer, translator, computer programmer, you can get a job from sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, BiOnluk, or find someone suitable for these jobs. These are ideal platforms, especially for freelance people and those who want to earn additional income.

You can fill in basic documents and information of companies on platforms such as Mechanical Turk. It is possible to earn a good additional income from such sites.

When it comes to the traditional business market, it can be said that sharing economy platforms offer a new alternative to the current business world. So existing jobs will survive for a longer period of time. However, for example, a company would prefer to work with a freelance graphic designer through Upwork rather than working with an agency for graphic design. There is a difference between working with an agency as an institution and working with a graphic designer as an individual on many issues such as price, stress, and contracts. The second provides more flexibility to both sides.

In summary, sharing economy platforms based on knowledge and skills create a flexible and fluid medium where both the employer and the recipient can benefit mutually.

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