The proverbial wave of technological change brought about by cloud computing, big data analytics, and mobile technology is crashing upon land. Businesses can no longer stay afloat by relying on the tried and true. Today, more than ever, new ideas reign supreme. The modern idea economy is a business climate wherein success is defined by the ability to turn ideas into value faster than the competition.

In the turbulent waters of the changing economy, CEOs must swear by ideas over conventions. Survival is dependent upon these three business traits:

  1. SPEED: entrepreneurs and companies that innovate the fastest are best competitively positioned.
  2. AGILITY: responsiveness to disruption, threats, and novel market opportunities.
  3. A HYBRID INFRASTRUCTURE: unification of public cloud, private cloud, and traditional IT.

Wholly new and creative business infrastructures are cropping up as a result of the modern innovation-based landscape. Sharing and collaborative economies are a response to the socio-cultural imperative to disrupt the centralized establishment and make more efficient use of resources. 

The Sharing Economy

Examples of the sharing economy

Examples of the sharing economy

An economic model based on sharing underused assets—spaces, skills, and stuff—for monetary or non-monetary means. Under this model, peer-to-peer businesses are founded based upon networks of trust. Collaborative consumption satisfies consumer imperatives to save money and provider imperatives to make more efficient and sustainable use of resources. An example of this kind of mutual exchange is found in Airbnb, a company that matches people who have space to rent with people in need of a place to stay.

The incredibly successful Airbnb

The incredibly successful Airbnb

The Collaborative Economy

Coming together in the collaborative economy

Coming together in the collaborative economy

An economic model comprised of distributed networks of connected individuals and communities as opposed to centralized institutions. This foundational layout transforms how we produce, consume, finance, and educate. Collaborative economies work through shared access and are largely enabled by social media. An example of the collaborative economy in practice is the joint venture between Keds and PARTYSKIRTS. Keds released a shoe collection featuring designs inspired by the Vancouver skirt line’s flirty and feminine aesthetic. The result? Package deal advertising that paired the sporty shoes with the romantic skirts, promoting both products in a mutually beneficial light.

The Keds and Partyskirts package deal advertising

The Keds and Partyskirts package deal advertising

So what do these new business models have in common?

  1. Their core business mission is to unlock the idling capacity of unused or underutilized assets.
  2. They have clear values-driven missions that are built on meaningful principles of trust, transparency, and collaboration.
  3. The line between consumers and producers is blurred. Productive consumption—“prosumption”—is the best way to describe how customers interact with brands.
  4. They are built on distributed marketplaces and decentralized communicative networks that foster a sense of belonging, collective accountability and mutual benefit.

Here at Southcott Strategy, we can guide you in responding to digital disruption and the new climate of idea innovation. Success today means locating unmet and as-yet un-served consumer desires and adapting your company’s infrastructure to fill in those gaps.

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