Be Up... be Meshy!


"If you embrace the Mesh you'll discover how your business can inspire customers in a world where access trumps ownership - Lisa Gansky

Lisa Ganskya US serial entrepreneur who has contributed to the transformation and renewal of many sectors, who has also advised and invested in more than twenty Internet and mobile web startups - is the author of "The Mesh - Why the future of Business is Sharing", which describes a profound paradigm shift for today's business where the access that is anticipated by Jeremy Rifkin is imposing itself on the property.

In this book, she explains why the sharing economy represents a fundamental change in our relationship to people, objects, services and impacts almost every element of our professional and personal lives.

In his words : We will discover a new freedom by understanding that we don't need to possess so many things ... Life will be much fuller, more joyful, with more interaction within our various communities, much more Meshy! From an entrepreneurial point of view, we will discover that there is a lot of value in micro moments of daily life, new ecosystems will be created around these new services of sharing between individuals".

Everything is converging to affirm that a new economy and new lifestyles are emerging. Startups are raising impressive amounts of money: in June 2011, Airbnb raised $112 million. In the United States, business angel Craig Shapiro has created the " Collaborative Fund " in order to support young start-ups, betting on collaborative consumption. For him, this is not a niche trend, but a new economic culture that will gradually take hold. French companies Deways (car-sharing site between private individuals) and Super-marmite (local social network to buy and sell your homemade meals) are exploding. The Hive That Says Yes, launched at the end of 2010, offers "to its bees" fresh products, produced locally at a reasonable price, everywhere in France.

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Experts are beginning to take an interest in the phenomenon and some politicians are considering new laws to encourage the development of this parallel economy which will grow over the next 5 years.

Why? Because the drivers of the sharing economy are in fact new responses to the major changes and trends of our time:

1. The key driver and booster of technology related to the exponential acceleration of Native & Digital technologies & In virtuo: many sites allow to compare prices of a product, to collect the opinion of other consumers, to benefit from discount vouchers. Thanks to new technologies, we can geolocate ourselves, find - if necessary and in real time - experts, trains, parking spaces, restaurants, etc. Online sharing very often heralds offline sharing.

2. The engine of communities resulting from a new age of empathy driven by new technologies and our new social capital: social networks. For Robert D. PutnamProfessor of Public Administration, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Administration at the JFK School of Government at Harvard and author of Bowling Alone, social capital now refers to social networks and related norms of reciprocity. The revolution brought about by social networks is indeed having a positive impact on the trust necessary for redistribution models.

3. The driving force of ethics, environmental and social responsibility related to the modern age of consciousness: meshy people make a direct link between sharing and sustainable, sharing and social justice, sharing and local, sharing and ethics, etc.

4. Finally, the driving force behind the quest for meaning, the slow life, mirroring the economic downturn and the return to fundamental human values. The limits of our over-consumerist and hyper-activist society, combined with the current economic difficulties, have accentuated the awareness of the usefulness of daily purchases to link consumption to a new quest for meaning, and already a cult consumption. These are only the beginnings of a profound change in the relationship to objects. Indeed, the benefits of access are more important than those of ownership, practicality goes beyond materialism, and experiences are valued more than possession.

We are gradually moving towards a distributed capitalism. It is another relationship to wealth. Even money is becoming meshy and re-localized!

All over the world, from North to South, several countries are experimenting with complementary currencies, but I prefer the term social currencies. The aim is to give back to money its exchange value; to cut off speculation and favour local production, to promote solidarity and to bet on exchanges and human links. Beware, social currencies are not simple anti-crisis solutions, but are much more the sign of a power now entrusted to individuals. It is the ethics of the us, the power of the many. After having appropriated information, individuals now appropriate politics, the economy and consumption. They are creating new living spaces organized in a coherent and resilient way. De facto, they re-invent the modes of production and consumption that they base on links, sharing, relocation...

The "meshy" are consumer-actors, cultural creators. Hyper connected and nomadic, they make digital a chance and protect themselves under the cloud. Very agile, they are clever and not stingy, flexible and not rigid, etc. More emotional and sensitive, they practice solidarity of proximity or choice. Above all, they want to live differently.

Mobility is undoubtedly the fastest growing sector with the emergence of car-sharing websites, then car-sharing, and now car-sharing between individuals, such as LivopDEways, Voiturelib or Cityzencar .

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Group purchasing, which is still marginal, will increase in the coming years and become time to market. In the age of the Internet, where the LOCAL HYPER MARKET IS BECOMING THE NEW DIGITAL CONTACT FIELD, new solutions for shopping and for enhancing the value of local shops' offers will emerge in terms of group purchasing. It will be technically easier to implement. Moreover, the USE OF SOCIAL SHOPPING is being tamed by consumers.

Barter, like social currencies, is undoubtedly a singular phenomenon that marks our society in transition. Whether it is used as a marketing lever or as an alternative to current consumption patterns, it is once again becoming a legitimate consumer behaviour and a commercial practice in its own right.

The concept of collaborative consumption is therefore simple: access to goods and skills is more important than owning them. Connections are worth more than goods. There is more wealth in use than in ownership, Aristotle once said.

This new relationship to wealth - wealth is elsewhere - will become a fundamental issue for all businessmen, companies and brands, whatever their activity.

Some meshy ideas No business without Internet Meshy with barter, deals (yes, you will have to learn how to deal with your customers), groupon services, buzz meshy social networks, hyper meshy digital communication .... The must of Meshy ? A collective of brands working together (meshy 1) to launch a social currency to offer them a real bouquet of meshy trans-services and benefits. The whole thought according to "Lifestyles" communities ...

So in 2012 if you want an Up business: a tip, think Up Meshy!


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