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What's Mine is Yours : The rise of collaborative consumption Hardcover – 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harper Business (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061963542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061963544
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 891,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jezza on 18 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback
Hats off to Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers for writing this. They've synthesized and evangelized some disparate trends to show that there is something in common underlying them - a rejection of stuff in favour of services on the one hand, and relationships on the other. They've linked this to the sustainability agenda (because the production, consumption and disposal of stuff is wrecking the planet), and to the happiness agenda (because having more stuff doesn't make you happy, any more than eating more stuff does).

They distinguish between three different kinds of collaborative consumption - Product Service Systems (buying a service - like a rental car instead of a product); Redistribution Markets (like Ebay, but also Freecycle - to move stuff between people instead of making or trashing stuff); and Collaborative Lifestyles (the exchange of intangible assets like skills and time in moneyless contexts).

The book has a long introduction on how we got to here - the genesis of advertising and the creation of wants, planned obsolescence, and so on. The downside of this is it feels a bit padded - as with a lot of books about the new economy, what could have been a tight magazine article or series of blog posts has been blown out to make a book. Although it contains some fairly contemporary stuff, it's already out of date - no mention of Cameron's "Big Society", for example. It's very anglo-american too; does nothing like this happen in Europe? Don't they do this sort of thing all the time in the developing world?

It's also a bit boosterish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By yours2share on 18 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I've just finished reading this book: it's thought-provoking and highly readable. Many of its peers are the former, but rarely the latter, and for this reason I'll admit that I was putting off reading it, even though it's a must read for me. So I was pleasantly surprised when I read it cover to cover in a day: couldn't put it down.

First of all it lays out the context for the need for change: why we're in this un-sustainable mess and why it doesn't need to be this way. Then it leads you through the major ways we can reduce consumption: product service systems (new services like car clubs and ride sharing), redistribution markets (ebay, freecycle, swapping) and collaborative lifestyles (co-working, landsharing). What distinguishes it from so many earnest tomes telling us to reduce waste, reduce consumption, be good and wear a hairshirt, is that it understands that this revolution has to be lead by consumer demand and great design, and that excellent profits are there to be made by companies who understand this. Given the enormity of the issues facing our planet, it is also hugely optimistic.

I found the sections on trust particularly useful and I'm waiting to see the first reputation platform emerge, bringing together our reputations on ebay, zopa, couchsurfing, relayrides etc. For me the only area of sharing that wasn't really covered was the creation of private syndicates and sharing of large assets between small groups of private individuals.

There must be two editions of the book as the one I read did cover many UK/European websites.

If you want to do your bit for the planet, understand the role of the internet plays in this, or find out where your company should be heading, I strongly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This is an extremely important book that we all should perhaps read.

It's clear to many of us that the way we live in the West is unsustainable. The amount we consume in order to satisfy our urge to own, is outstripping the Earth's resources at an alarming rate. The extent of this excess is detailed in the opening chapters with much of the focus on the excesses of the people of the USA, but sadly we in the UK and the rest of the developed world appear intent on catching up.

We've been trained to desire possessions and to crave the new and the latest versions. It's the basis of our economic model and what we call success, but it's simply unsustainable. For example the size of the average US home has more than doubled in the last 50 years whilst family size has reduced yet since the first self-storage facility opened in 1964 the US personal storage business has grown to a $22 billion business with over 53,000 facilities and a total of 2.35 billion square feet of storage. The book is littered with startling examples:- For example the average mobile phone has a life of 18 months; 30 million phones are sold in the UK annually to a population of 60 million and over 11 billion phones have been built for a world population of 7 billion.

Elsewhere in the home it's disconcerting to find that a typical domestic electric drill is used for between 6 and 13 minutes during its entire lifetime - most people want the hole, not the drill.

Something has to change and the rest of the book outlines what could and what is happening to foster collaboration and sharing ranging from models similar to the traditional `book library' through more radical approaches such as `couch surfing' where people eschew hotels and instead sleep on the couches of locals.
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