Besides Networked Cities, the current trend that excites me the most is Collaborative Consumption because it has the mind-blowing potential to really change our lifestyles and behaviors. People have always been questioning their consumption, but now with the help of technology and social media patterns in particular, they have the tools to take sharing goods and service to a whole other level. That, in short, is what collaborative consumption is all about.
Recently at the PSFK conference in New York, two of the prototypical companies for this trend, Kickstarter and AirBnB, were on stage to talk about how their services developed and how they are changing the approaches to funding and accommodation. Highly recommended watching.
Kickstarter is especially interesting as it seems to be taking a road where people are mocking up a prototype for a product and then get the funding via the platform to actually produce it by basically having future customers paying in advance. This could change the usual way of product development fundamentally. If you don’t need a bigger company to create the funds to produce a product, than this creates a new category of products that haven’t been available before.
If you want to dig deeper into collaborative consumption, Rachel Botsman’s book is the go-to-source.