June 16, 1633: Galileo was put on trial by the Inquisition. Under threat of torture, he said that “the earth is fixed at the center of the universe”. He had the misfortune to take over and demonstrate the theses defended by Copernicus since 1511 that it is the earth that revolves around the sun and not vice versa.
January 6: The courts of the city of New York prohibits an important part of Uber activities on the perimeter of the city of New York
April 23: the city of San Francisco hardens the AirBnB usage laws and tops out at 60 the annual number of days an apartment can be a rented through the sharing platform
June 29: Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, CEO of Uber Europe and Simphal Thibaud, CEO of Uber France are placed in custody in Paris as part of an investigation into UberPop service which is finally interrupted under the pressure.
To finally recognize that it is the earth that revolves around the sun, it will take until 1822. That’s a little more than 3 centuries for lifting the prohibitions on the works of Galileo and Copernicus. Galileo is credited with the words “E Puro Si Muove” – “and yet it moves” he pronounced before dying in 1642.
The sharing economy opens new opportunities for asset valuation. This “efficiency” in the use of resources opens up immense prospects. Specifically at a time when we see their scarcity, we should make no mistake about the paths we take.
The list of opportunities opened by these new technologies is long: Time saving; personal productivity; business productivity; markets efficiency; lower usage costs; jobs creation ; new sources of income; valuation of assets; Optimization of uses; social ties; economic gains; competitiveness; quality of life, etc.
A challenge arises, however: the new models operate on the value chain of existing industries. They are challenging business models which have been established for decades. Powerful business lobbies and organizations naturally intervene to defend the territory in which they operate. Obviously, no individual or legal entity is usually a passive witness of his own disposal. These actions are naturally supported by the legislative and executive actors of national and local governments which are aware of the issues that weigh traditional industries but have little means to discern the impact of emerging new sharing models.
A fundamental question is whether these new sharing models are only a threat to the traditional models engulfing a too large share of the market? Or do they create new market opportunities by opening up lower costs possibilities on market segments which are lost with traditional models. Without affecting existing models too seriously. In clear, are these new markets going to swallow too large a share of a fixed pie, or will they create opportunities by increasing the size of the overall pie through the efficiencies they generate? I pick a UberPop but would I take a taxi? I travel with BlaBlaCar and AirBnB but would I have made the trip with traditional means? Conversely for one who manages his travels by taxi and flight + hotel, will he choose the added burden of solutions which can reduce his personal comfort and habits?
It appears urgent for the major operators of these new sharing industries to provide comparative studies of the full economic impact of their activities on defined geographical zones to provide authorities with factual and objective information about the actual and “total” consequences to be projected in relation with their activities. Please allow us to suggest the TVS for “Total Value of Sharing” as an interesting indicator to be further investigated. We know some good consulting firms which will be delighted to assist.
Furthermore, regulation must accompany these new models with an important time dimension to ensure a successful transition. The outright prohibition is not desirable. How do we want future generations to look at us?
Thread gushes light. Policy Makers of France, USA, New York, Paris and San Francisco; Uber and AirBnB Management, this is an open invitation to come and debate in Paris on the occasion of the Congress S3C Paris. Our staff will contact your offices this week or you can contact-us. We are open on all time zones.
And remember. « And yet it moves »