Sharing is Success, Part I – Why has time-sharing become so successful?

“We’re noticing a trend towards being ownerless, a move from ownership to access consumption. I don’t think ownership will fade entirely, but our relationship with the products will change. Over the next few years we will see the mainstreaming of this ownerless mindset.”

David Mattin, lead strategist at



If the economic crisis should have taught us anything, it is that buying a house should not be the ultimate goal of our live, because very soon we could end up owning nothing. And why do I have to own a car if renting one is so much cheaper? And with time having become our most important asset, wasting it looking for a parking space in the morning is costing us more than the social status we loose by not owning a car.

So what exactly is time-sharing?

Ok, time-sharing may at first sight remind us of vacation condos. But Lisa Gansky explains the new found interest of consumers as well as companies as follows: „The opportunities newly available are similar to the transitions from “standalone” PCs to networked computers, and then to the mobile web.“

My mother once told me that she used to choose her boyfriends mainly by what car they were driving. This may be an extreme example, but with “going green” being one of the fastest growing trends, and a generation that has grown up with the feeling of taking responsibility for the global environment due to global warming one can feel our society changing away from mere consumerism.

In an online research conducted by the “Sharable Magazine”, more than 3 in 5 participants made the connection between sharing and sustainability, citing “better for the environment” as one benefit of sharing.


“Accumulating the right record collection, that was how you gained status. Now status built by sharing, making playlists, being an editor and curator.”

David Mattin, lead strategist at


The asset-light generation


Mr. Mattin’s research has shown that the relationship with what we own come down to status. It has come so far, that today the under-25s are called the “asset-light generation”.

Mainly due to the web, sharing is not only a simple concept but has seemingly unbound potential. Technology has changes how we consume, socialize and mobilize – in the end it changed how we live and function as a society.

In fact, 75% of respondents oft the online research by the „Sharable Magazine“ predicted their sharing of physical objects and spaces will increase in the next 5 years. And Mr. Howard from the “O`Reilly Radar” predicts the “Sharing Economy” to be one of the “14 big trends to watch in 2013”.

Making profits

Of course individuals with lower income have shown to be more likely to participate in sharing behavior. But who would have a lower income than the under-25s?

According to research by Mr. Gorenflo, 69% of all participants expressed that they’d be more interested in sharing their belongings if they could make money from it.

We can see a lot of changes in our society and can therefore find a variety of different new trends emerging. But How exactly has time-sharing, and hence the sharing economy influenced our every day lives? And what can we expect the future to bring?

Interested to read more? Check out Sharing is caring, Part II – Development of the sharing economy where you can find out how and especially why people share, featuring a little history of car sharing in Berlin, Germany.