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What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption [Hardcover]

Rachel Botsman
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 3 2010
“Amidst a thousand tirades against the excesses and waste of consumer society, What’s Mine Is Yours offers us something genuinely new and invigorating: a way out.” —Steven Johnson, author of The Invention of Air and The Ghost Map

A groundbreaking and original book, What’s Mine is Yours articulates for the first time the roots of "collaborative consumption," Rachel Botsman and Roo Roger's timely new coinage for the technology-based peer communities that are transforming the traditional landscape of business, consumerism, and the way we live. Readers captivated by Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail, Van Jones’ The Green Collar Economy or Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point will be wowed by this landmark contribution to the evolving ecology of commerce and sustainability.

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Review

“Part cultural critique and part practical guide to the fledgling collaborative consumption market, the book provides a wealth of information for consumers looking to redefine their relationships with both the things they use and the communities they live in.” (—Publishers Weekly)

“Collaborative consumption is an ideal signalling device for an economy based on electronic brands and ever-changing fashions.” (The Economist)

“This is an inspiring book about innovating entrepreneurs in an economy where people are seeking ways to connect with each other- through business.” (Delta Sky)

“The latest buzzword and trend is defining how we do business in the new millennium” (Vogue Australia)

“[T]he authors have laid out the social and economic logic for collaborative consumption with such religious fervour and zeal that one can’t help but become converted to this new world order.” (—Edwards Magazine Bookclub)

“The authors give hundreds of examples of how people are finding new ways to share and exchange value…[T]he book is packed with some pretty interesting statistics…If you’re unaware of what’s happening in the peer-to-peer exchange space, this book will quickly bring you up to speed.” (—Emergent by Design)

“What can the next wave of collaborative marketplaces look like? Botsman and Rogers answer this question in a highly readable and persuasive way. Anyone interested in the business opportunities and social power of collaboration should consider reading this book.” (—Tony Hsieh, author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.)

“People are normally trustworthy and generous, and the Internet brings the good out far more than the bad. We’re seeing an explosion of modest businesses where people help each other out via the Net, and What’s Mine is Yours tells you what’s going on, and inspires more of the same.” (—Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist)

“Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers have offered a convincing, charming and in every sense collaborative account of how the new networks that have disrupted our lives are also likely to alter them, and entirely for our good.” (—Adam Gopnik, author of Paris to the Moon and Through the Children's Gate)

“Amidst a thousand tirades against the excesses and waste of consumer society, What’s Mine Is Yours offers us something genuinely new and invigorating: a way out. Anyone interested in the emerging economics and culture of collaboration will want to read this profoundly hopeful book.” (—Steven Johnson, author of The Invention of Air and The Ghost Map)

“[F]ull of impressive examples of entrepreneurs establishing new markets. Ultimately, the authors’ optimism is infectious.” (The Australian)

From the Back Cover

WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS is about Collaborative Consumption, a new, emerging economy made possible by online social networks and fueled by increasing cost consciousness and environmental necessity. Collaborative Consumption occurs when people participate in organized sharing, bartering, trading, renting, swapping, and collectives to get the same pleasures of ownership with reduced personal cost and burden, and lower environmental impact.

The book addresses three growing models of Collaborative Consumption: Product Service Systems, Communal Economies, and Redistribution Markets. The first, Product Service Systems, reflects the increasing number of people from all different backgrounds and across ages who are buying into the idea of using the service of the product-what it does for them-without owning it. Examples include Zipcar and Ziploc, and these companies are disrupting traditional industries based on models of individual ownership. Second, in what the authors define as Communal Economies, there is a growing realization that as individual consumers, we have relatively little in the way of bargaining power with corporations. A crowd of consumers, however, introduces a different, empowering dynamic. Online networks are bringing people together again and making them more willing to leverage the proverbial power of numbers. Examples of this second category include Etsy, an online market for handcrafts, or the social lending marketplace Zopa. The third model is Redistribution Markets, exemplified by worldwide networks such as Freecycle and Ebay as well as emerging forms of modern day bartering and “swap trading” such as Zwaggle, Swaptree, and Zunafish. Social networks facilitate consumer-to-consumer marketplaces that redistribute goods from where they are not needed to somewhere or someone where they are. This business model encourages reusing/reselling of old items rather them throwing them out, thereby reducing the waste and carbon emissions that go along with new production.

WHAT’S MINE IS YOURS describes how these three models come together to form a new economy of more sustainable consumerism. Collaborative Consumption started as a trend in conjunction with the emergence of shared collective content/information sites such as Wikipedia and Flickr and with the recent economic troubles and increasing environmental awareness, it is growing into an international movement. The authors predict it will be a fully fledged economy within the next five years.

In this book the authors travel among the quiet revolutionaries (consumers and companies) from all around the world. They explore how businesses will both prosper and fail in this environment, and, in particular, they examine how it has the potential to help create the mass sustainable change in consumer behaviors this planet so desperately needs. The authors themselves are environmentalists, but they are also entrepreneurs, parents, and optimistic citizens. This is a good news book about long-term positive change.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Nov. 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Rachel has really done a thorough research and bring with her a plethora of examples and describes the changing economy happening today with perspective and enthusiasm, with excitement and realism. This is a must read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A global and lucid view about collaboration ! July 19 2011
By Moebius
Format:Paperback
This book embraces a larger perspective about sharing systems ; an intelligible and intelligent wrap-up of the actual and future prerequisites for innovation. Take a look ! :-)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ways to Share That Benefit You and Others Sept. 17 2010
By Kare Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
One Saturday a friend who lives on Nob Hill in S.F. drove a zipcar over to visit me in Sausalito. He was eager to tell me about his trip to Istanbul, paid for by renting out his spare bedroom. Earlier that morning, via a freecycle posting, a stranger picked up some clay pots I'd set out by my garage so he could make a deck garden. Our apparently different actions are, in fact, part of a trend that Roos Rogers and Rachel Botsman dub collaborative consumption in their book, What's Mine is Yours.

Feeling pinched for money? Hate waste? Want to get to know more of your neighbors? These are just some of the reasons that might motivate you to discover fresh methods to save and to share that can also enrich your life - with others.

From bartering to exchanging, fixing, giving away, renting or more efficiently using what you have, this book is the most complete (and lively) resource I've found. You'll not only read about the better-known businesses and organizations that are tapping into "collaborative consumption" like zipcar and Meetup but many lesser-known groups and methods that you might join or reinvent to adapt to your situation or interest.

They write, "The collaboration at the heart of Collaborative Consumption may be local and face-to-face, or it may use the Internet to connect, combine, form groups, and find something or someone to create "many to many" peer-to-peer interactions. Simply put, people are sharing again with their community - be it an office, a neighborhood, an apartment building, a school, or a Facebook network. But the sharing and collaboration are happening in ways and at a scale never before possible, creating a culture and economy of What's Mine is Yours."

Collaborative Consumption appears in three "systems" suggest the authors, product service systems, redistribution markets and collaborative lifestyles. The underlying principles that enable them are idling capacity, critical mass, belief in the commons and trust between strangers.

In keeping with a book on collaboration the authors seemingly productively co-wrote this book. You can read about the factors in our relatively recent history that caused Americans to shop as a hobby, often beyond our mean or needs and throw away or store our extra stuff (Americans average more than four credit cards per person while Europeans get by with 0.23 per person)- or you can jump to the many interesting characters, services, methods and stories in the rise of our collaborative consumption.

Some of my favorite stories are about business people who made dramatic changes on how they operated their business such as Ray Anderson who had a "conversion experience" after reading my friend Paul Hawken's book, The Ecology of Commerce The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability, and transformed his firm, "the world's largest commercial carpet company" into "the first fully sustainable industrial enterprise." There are many fascinating back stories on how company founders backed into starting their business after personally seeing a need to reduce waste or save money - or others desire to share.

As someone who has had a long interest in collaboration I was delighted to learn how many more clever methods people are inventing to get along well on less, often through the use of collaborative technology. For example, I've been a longtime fan and user of freecyle, Zipcar, Netflix and Zilok (and was building up the nerve to try CouchSurfing or Airbnb) yet I'd not heard of many of the others including Snapgoods, SwapTree, SmartBike, TechShop, HearPlanet, iLetYou, SolarCity, UsedCardboardBoxes or OurGoods.

Perhaps like me, you'll finish this book convinced that sharing in all its forms is a major trend - and not just for the frugal or the greenies. Further you'll have specific ideas about why and how to share, exchange, rent, swap or ensure that the things you no longer want get into the hands of those who do. After you've read this book visit Shareable and see more stories to inspire you about how we are becoming more inventive about sharing the more we connect with each other about it. Relatedly, see Clay Shirky's Cognitive SurplusCognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age, Kevin Kelly's What Technology WantsWhat Technology Wants, Peter Block's The Abundant CommunityThe Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods and Delivering Happiness Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel guide to a new commercial landscape Sept. 16 2010
By Brett Rolfe - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Ever now and then - not often - a book comes along that captures nascent trends that are going to effect us all before we know it, and lays those trends out with clarity and insight. 'The Cluetrain Manifesto' was such a book, as was 'Convergence Culture'. This year it appears we are blessed with two such reads - Clay Shirky's 'Cognitive Surplus', and this wonderful exploration of new (or re-emerging) forms of collaborative living.

The book is nicely structured and reads well, with an anecdotal style which clearly shows the huge amount of research that went into the project, drawing on an impressive range of case studies to make a powerful argument.

If the book has one failing it may be that, like so many 'business books', some people may overlook it as not for them. This would be a great pity, as the issues it deals with are critical for all of us - whether as inspiration for a collaborative dot com start up, or to help us navigated the increasing array of traded, swapped and shared products and services around us.

Buy it. Read it. Pass it on.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Future That Already Exists Nov. 21 2010
By Peter Morville - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book provides a glimpse of the unevenly distributed future that already exists today. In other words, collaborative consumption is a phenomenon that will change the way we all live and work. This isn't just a technology-driven trend, although the Internet and ubiquitous computing are part of the picture. We're also in the early stages of a social transformation with respect to what people want. What's Mine Is Yours is filled with great examples, and the authors do a nice job of tying them together into an uplifting and important story. I highly recommend this book!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you ready for the next big thing? Dec 7 2010
By Jill Ruchel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A new age of sharing and collaboration is upon us. Are you ready?

If not, you may find yourself left behind.

"What's Mine is Yours. The Rise of Collaborative Consumption" is an important new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. It explains how the extraordinary disruption caused by the communications revolution is spawning an explosion in sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting and swapping.

Sites like Couchsurfing.com, which co-ordinates swaps of 'couch' accommodation for visitors and travelers has become the third most visited travel site in the world.

Car-sharing services like Zipcar saw their membership triple in 2009, and it is estimated that by 2015, 4.4 million people in North America and 5.5 million in Europe will belong to similar services.

People are realising that they don't have to own everything themselves, and that reaching out to others and sharing saves them money, makes them feel good and makes them new friends.

It meets a fundamental human need for connection and sharing.

Even mega consumer brands like Nike are shifting their brand focus and advertising away from products and towards building collaborative communities, investing in nonmedia social hubs like NikePlus, where runners around the world post runnning routes, map their runs, offer advice and encourage one another. It is estimated that Nike is spending 55 per cent less on traditional advertising and celebrity endorsements than it did ten years ago.

So why is this change occurring? Botsman and Roo cite a number of reasons, one of which is that it
feeds what sociologist Marilynn Brewer calls our 'social self', the part of us that seeks connection and belonging.

People have a need to connect. We are essentially social beings. And after 60 years of what author Clay Shirky terms one-way media communication (television to us) the internet has given back some choice to consumers - and they're taking it.

Botsman and Roo posit that in 10 years people won't be judging each other by their credit rating but by their 'reputation rating' - what they give to, what they share and in what they participate. This will be a radical departure from the era of defining ourselves by the brands we display and the houses we live in.

There exists a huge desire for more meaning and connection in life.

Now is the time.

This is the most important book since "What would Google do?" and Clay Shirky's "Cognitive Surplus". Read it or miss out on the next big thing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Acquire, Borrow, Trade, and Give Away Feb. 29 2012
By Frank Gullo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
We're approaching a point with collaboration technologies where users can opt out of traditional consumer models and use alternatives to acquire, borrow, trade, and give away just about anything. Need a car? Instead of buying or renting, you can use Zipcar or RelayRides. Want to buy or sell old possessions? Try Ebay or Craigslist. Need a loan but want an alternative to a bank? Try Zopa. Staying overnight in another city? Sure, you can rent a hotel, but now you can also use Airbnb or Couchsurfing.

What's Mine is Yours sums up the new universe of what authors Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers term "collaborative consumption". The book, like the movement it describes, is a game changer, as the authors connect the dots and show how key systems (like redistribution markets and collaborative lifestyles), principles (like critical mass and belief in the commons), and drivers (like environmental and cost concerns) have all matured to the point where collaborative consumption is not only viable but may soon supplant traditional buy, use and discard consumption altogether.

I would suggest that you go buy the book, but in the spirit of its message, I implore you to barter or swap for the book through one of the many exchange markets available today.
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