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What Restaurants Should Learn from the Sharing Economy

Jeremiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies, presented a keynote speech at MURTEC 2016, offering insights into how restaurants – and all businesses – should learn and find inspiration from collaborative businesses. With the rise of Airbnb and Uber, the positive results are everywhere and will impact established businesses’ bottom lines. Here are some insights from Jeremiah:

Recent data shows that the Collaborative Economy movement is here to stay. People are increasingly adopting sharing behaviors as startups like Uber are enjoying profitability in the United States. Meanwhile, in the UK, the government is offering a tax credit for people who participate in sharing services. It’s not going away––but we do need to cull the herd.

The Collaborative Economy enables people to get what they need from each other. Similarly, in nature, honeycombs are resilient structures that enable access, sharing, and growth of resources among a common group. 

Setting the stage for autonomous innovation
First, we had the Internet Era, when a few people could publish online and e-commerce is born. Then came the Social Media Age, when anyone could publish online using social tools, including brands.  Today, many companies are trying to get their arms around the Collaborative Economy, as customers use common technologies to create and share products using P2P commerce. People increasingly get what they need from each other.

Our digital evolution doesn’t stop with the Collaborative Economy. While we’re deepening our understanding of sharing behaviors, service marketplaces, and the Maker Movement, the next digital era is emerging: the “Autonomous World.” In the Autonomous World, we see machines replace humans to deliver even greater convenience and efficiencies. The Collaborative Economy lays the necessary foundation for the Autonomous World to thrive.

In the Collaborative Economy, people often access what they need from each other, rather than buying products for ownership. By gaining access to products and services through on-demand business models, customers reduce the need for ownership. Autonomous technologies like self-driving cars are going to extend the access model, by enabling cars to be hailed on-demand rather than having to own vehicles.

At Crowd Companies, we define the Autonomous World as “a future state when intelligent technology systems, operating without human participation, enable new business models in a more efficient society.” These intelligent technology systems can take the form of many hardware and software products, including self-driving vehicles, drones, and other artificial intelligence. The Autonomous World is our futuristic vision, with society experiencing an inevitable “semi-autonomous world” with minimal human interaction before fully autonomous systems are operable and dependable.
When intelligent technology systems operate with minimal human participation, all industries must adapt to an inevitable transformation of societal behaviors and expectations.  

Excerpts compiled from Jeremiah Owyang’s blog (
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