What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

I received an advance copy of Rachel Botsman’s (@rachelbotsman) and Roo Rogers’ What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption book (Amazon) through the advance copy program for bloggers.

As Umair Haque (@umairh) distinguishes between 20th century “dumb” growth and 21st century “smart” growth in The Smart Growth Manifesto and The Generation M Manifesto, Botsman and Rogers distinguish between 20th century hyper-consumption and 21st century Collaborative Consumption.

Haque elaborates that

  • Dumb growth is “unsustainable, unfair, and brittle” and
  • Smart growth is “sustainable, equitable, and resilient.”

See The Smart Growth Manifesto: Creative People Collaborating to Create Value and The Generation M Manifesto: Movement & Meaningful Stuff that Matters the Most for more!

Similarly, Botsman and Rogers elaborate that

  • Hyper-consumption is about “the endless acquisition of more stuff in ever greater amounts” and
  • Collaborative Consumption is about “traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, fighting, and swapping, redefined through technology and peer communities.”

Collaborative Consumption is an “emerging socioeconomic groundswell” where “the old stigmatized C’s associated with coming together and ‘sharing’ — cooperatives, collectives, and communes — are being refreshed and reinvented into appealing and valuable forms of collaboration and community,” which is cultivating a culture and fostering an economy of “what’s mine is yours.”

The Book

The book, which is very rich in breadth and depth, elegantly organizes its concepts in an Introduction and three parts: Part 1, Context (for the groundswell); Part 2, Groundswell; and Part 3, Implications (of the groundswell). It offers many examples of Collaborative Consumption organized into three systems (product service systems, redistribution markets, and collaborative lifestyles) that share similar underlying principles (critical mass, idling capacity, belief in the commons, and trust between strangers).

After much consideration on how best to introduce what the book is really all about, I decided to share a few impactful points.

Introduction: What’s Mine is Yours

Collaborative Consumption fosters a “healthy” system between individuals and collectives that does not prescribe rigid dogma, but it blends aspects of the socialist ideology and capitalist ideology without itself being an ideology.

From Generation Me to Generation We

Collaborative Consumption reminds us that self-interest is not necessarily greed and emphasizes socioeconomic aspects faithful to Adam Smith’s intent and the natural synergy between self-interest and the collective good. This interdependence between self-interest and the collective good is fostering a shift in mind-set from Generation Me (“what’s in it for me”) to Generation We (“what’s in it for us”).

The Rise of Collaborative Consumption

Over the past few years, collaboration has become a driving force in our cultural, political, and economic systems. Collaborative Consumption highlights the “revolution of collaboration” and emphasizes the sociocultural aspects of collaboration among peers. In particular, people participate in Collaborative Consumption as “peer providers” who provide assets (products or services) or “peer users” who consume assets.

The Evolution of Collaborative Consumption

Consumption is now much more dynamic and involves giving and collaborating to get what you want, which is fostering the emergence of a more sustainable system focused on “basic human needs — in particular, the needs for community, individual identity, recognition, and meaningful activity”. Thus, Collaborative Consumption offers a world view that unifies the socioeconomic and sociocultural aspects of community, individual identity, recognition, and meaningful activity through a collaborative and sharing culture.

In Conclusion

Botsman’s and Rogers’ What’s Mine Is Yours intertwines with Haque’s smart growth around socioeconomic and sociocultural aspects.

Visit the online hub for Collaborative Consumption for more information.


Excerpt from What’s Mine Is Yours by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. Copyright © 2010 by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. Posted with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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