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In The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy, Crowd Companies founder Jeremiah Owyang and tech strategist Alexandra Samuel reveal the impressive adoption of collaborative consumption. As Owyang revealed in a blog post, more and more people are now looking to other customers for things they need, often bypassing traditional ways of buying goods and services.

As the following stats show, the collaborative economy has already disrupted many industries. Established companies that don’t respond soon are in danger of becoming obsolete.

The collaborative economy is now mainstream, continuing to grow at an impressive rate.

  1. More than 110 million people in North America have participated in the collaborative economy in the past year. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  2. Fifty-one percent of Americans are now part of the collaborative economy. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  3. In North America alone, sharing in the collaborative economy has grown by 25 percent in the last 12 months. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  4. Eight in 10 Americans are expected to be part of the collaborative economy by 2017. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  5. Eighty-four percent of North Americans now recognize Craigslist, a website that facilitates the exchange of used goods and services. (TWEET THIS STAT)

The collaborative economy is not a fad. Its growth represents a larger, global shift in customer preference and behavior.

  1. Forty-three percent of people say owning goods feels like a burden. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  2. The number of cars purchased by people aged 18 to 34 fell by almost 30 percent from 2007 to 2011, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  3. Eighty-one percent of people from Asia Pacific are willing to pay for shared goods and services. (TWEET THIS STAT)

Young people, in particular, are big in sharing.

  1. Thirty-nine percent of people who earn their income through the collaborative economy are between the ages of 18 to 24. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  2. As of 2014, 76 percent of millennials have participated in the collaborative economy. (TWEET THIS STAT)

Due to the growth of sharing, venture capitalists are bullish on collaborative economy.

  1. The ridesharing app Uber is valued at $50 billion and is the most valuable company to come out of the collaborative economy. (eBay, which recently spun off PayPal, is valued at approximately $34 billion.) (TWEET THIS STAT)
  2. Airbnb, which lets people rent out their room to others, is now valued at $25 billion. (TWEET THIS STAT)
  3. The collaborative economy has produced 17 companies with at least $1 billion-valuation. (TWEET THIS STAT)


As these stats show, the collaborative economy is here to stay. In order to stay competitive, companies in the era of sharing need to develop a deeper understanding of their customers. More than ever, companies need to re-evaluate the way they do business and identify opportunities to better serve, market to and engage with the empowered customer.

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Kelvin Claveria

Kelvin Claveria was the former Content Marketing Manager and was responsible for Vision Critical's blog and social media marketing program. Before joining Vision Critical's global marketing team, Kelvin worked at Dunn PR, a Vancouver-based public relations firm. His experience includes working with lifestyle, real estate, and non-profit clients to develop social media marketing and PR strategies. Kelvin has a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFU's Beedie School of Business.
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