The Sharing Economy

  • by Arun Sundararajan
  • Narrated by Vikas Adam
  • 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Sharing isn't new. Giving someone a ride, having a guest in your spare room, running errands for someone, participating in a supper club - these are not revolutionary concepts. What is new in the "sharing economy" is that you are not helping a friend for free; you are providing these services to a stranger for money.
In this book, Arun Sundararajan, an expert on the sharing economy, explains the transition to what he describes as "crowd-based capitalism" - a new way of organizing economic activity that may supplant the traditional corporate-centered model. As peer-to-peer commercial exchange blurs the lines between the personal and the professional, how will the economy, government regulation, what it means to have a job, and our social fabric be affected?
Drawing on extensive research and numerous real-world examples, Sundararajan explains the basics of crowd-based capitalism. He describes the intriguing mix of "gift" and "market" in its transactions, demystifies emerging blockchain technologies, and clarifies the dizzying array of emerging on-demand platforms. He then considers how this new paradigm changes economic growth and the future of work.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Game of Sounding Informed vs. Being Informed!

What disappointed you about The Sharing Economy?

This author is really playing a game of 'sounding informed." He may fool some people here with his adequate use of business pressure points like referencing "Harvard," but the author is actually NOT truly informed on anything he's discussing. It's all a lot of generalizations and recycled business ideas presented with the hope to fool the reader into thinking their actually learning something here about the so-called 'sharing economy.'

What was most disappointing about Arun Sundararajan’s story?

The author is trying really hard to 'sound smart' and 'sound informed' when, after thinking about what he's actually saying, you quickly realize it's all generalizations and nonsense talk.

How could the performance have been better?

The author needs to actually become an expert in something specific, which is harder than it seems. Anyone can research Wikipedia and regurgitate the data in a book, but the real task is to actually gain a command and expertise of a subject. This author lacks any real expertise in business.

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- lipservice

Relevant & engaging

This book is accessible to both top-notch-economists and laypeople alike. It was a fascinating listen.

The subject is of such vast economic importance, and yet it's so personal to each of us in the developed world. The emergence and growth of peer-to-peer services in the past few years has been staggering. Economic activity is shifting away from central institutions to services provided by other individuals who have access to goods. The range of services is stunning — you can get a ride, order food, crash on someone's couch, ship an unwieldy object, have your clothes laundered, book a massage therapist, or become a startup investor, all with a few taps on your phone.

As the scope of peer-to-peer markets expands, we're taking economic activity out of institutions. In the established model, most economic activity was controlled by large companies. Now we have a digitally controlled model — a platform that sits btw people who have time, have stuff, or have $, and people who need those things. Loved the discussion on what makes people trust each other enough for these high-stakes interactions, the "digital online reputation circles."

Which brings me to the most interesting aspect of the sharing economy, and of the book — the implications both for regulation & for the workforce. On the one hand, value is captured by people below median income, which is a promise of inclusive growth. On the other hand — well, you should get the book.
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- M Petrova

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-13-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio