16 June 2011

Book: What’s Mine is Yours

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What's Mine is Yours
What’s Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live
by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers
Collins, 2011
304 pages

In the 20th century humanity consumed products faster than ever, but this way of living is no longer sustainable. This new and important book shows how technological advances are driving forms of ‘collaborative consumption’ which will change forever the ways in which we interact both with businesses and with each other.

The average lawn mower is used for four hours a year. The average power drill is used for only twenty minutes in its entire lifespan. The average car is unused for 22 hours a day, and even when it is being used there are normally three empty seats. Surely there must be a way to get the benefit out of things like mowers, drills and even cars, without having to carry the huge up-front costs of ownership?

There is indeed. Collaborative consumption is not just a buzzword, it is a new win-win way of life. This insightful and thought-provoking new book by Rachel Rogers and Roo Botsman is an important and fast-moving survey of the dramatic changes we are seeing in the way we consume products.

Many of us are familiar with freecycle, eBay, couchsurfing and Zipcar. But these are just the beginning of a new phenomenon. Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have interviewed business leaders and opinion formers around the world to draw together the many strands of Collaborative Consumption into a coherent and challenging argument to show that the way we did business and consumerism in the 20th century is not the way we will do it in the 21st century.

Related > The end of consumerism? [Article in The Guardian]
Collaborative consumption – the notion that we can now share or swap anything from clothes and parking spaces to free time – is an exciting idea. But is it really the answer to rampant consumerism?

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