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Jeremiah Owyang of Crowd Companies, Vision Critical Release New Report Investigating the Opportunities of the Collaborative Economy for Established Companies

Vision Critical’s customer intelligence software uncovers key insight by engaging more than 50K people in North America to uncover the new rules of the collaborative economy

Represented by brands such as Uber and Airbnb, the collaborative economy continues to grow in popularity despite rising negative sentiment toward leading sharing companies

Established companies need to utilize price, brand and convenience to combat, complement and compete with collaborative companies


SAN FRANCISCO & VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Crowd Companies, an innovation council founded by Jeremiah Owyang primarily focusing on the collaborative economy movement, and Vision Critical, the leading customer intelligence platform provider, have once again exclusively partnered to release the 2015 report, “The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy,” which maps the growth of the collaborative economy over the last year and the opportunities the movement offers for established global businesses. A follow up to last year’s ground-breaking report, “Sharing is the New Buying,” this year’s report, based on responses from more than 50,000 people across the U.S. and Canada, illustrates the three levers that established companies can utilize to combat, complement and compete with rising sharing sites: price, brand and convenience. Growing concern around sharing startups’ lack of regulation and aggressive global expansion hasn’t slowed the growth of the collaborative economy, making it imperative for established brands to understand consumer sentiment, learn their preferences and capitalize on these shifts now more than ever. The report estimates that by 2017 eight in 10 Americans will participate in the collaborative economy.

In this year’s report, Jeremiah Owyang and his co-author Alexandra Samuel, a respected technology researcher and strategist, evaluate the strategies that established companies can deploy to take advantage of the collaborative economy, also known as the sharing economy, which is driven by leading startups including Uber, Airbnb and others. The report reveals that more than 110 million North Americans are now part of the collaborative economy and participation grew by 25% in the past year: for every four people who were sharing a year ago, the collaborative economy has attracted one new recruit. For leading brands, this growth presents unrivaled opportunity. Companies must increasingly turn to their customers for valuable insight to make more informed and customer-centric decisions in this rapidly changing time.


Comments on the News


Forms of sharing have become well-established

Every single area of the collaborative economy is attracting greater participation, with pre-owned goods, custom products, professional services, online learning, personal services, transportation services, places to stay and crowdfunding each attracting at least 10% of the North American population in the past year.

Participation doubled across transportation services, places to stay, crowdfunding and office space with categories including professional services, loaner products, custom products and personal services growing 60-80%.


Sharing is growing quickly, especially among those who already use emergent sharing services

Last year’s report, “Sharing is the New Buying,” the largest-ever study of collaborative economy participation, established that sharing was growing, mainstream, pragmatic and satisfying to customers.

This year’s report highlights the following three major opportunities for established brands to succeed in the collaborative economy:


Price: Driving Business with Savings

Brand: Driving Business with Trust

Convenience: Driving Business with Features and Services


More Information

The Vision Critical and Crowd Companies report revisited the eleven major categories of sharing explored in the 2014 report, including goods, services, transportation, accommodations and money. New categories in this year’s report are online learning and Bitcoin, given their growth in industry prominence and popularity with customers.

Read more about the growth of the collaborative economy and learn how businesses can learn how to compete, complement, and combat this economic trend by reading the report, “The New Rules of the Collaborative Economy.”



This report is based on two surveys conducted between February 2015 and May 2015 by Vision Critical’s Voice of Market with participants from the U.S. and Canada ages 18 and over. The initial survey of 51,078 respondents provided data on the overall incidence, frequency and nature of participation in the collaborative economy. The questions regarding the collaborative economy were imbedded in a general omnibus survey covering a variety of topics. The topic of the collaborative economy was not mentioned in the invitation to the survey. A follow-up survey of over 2,000 sharers provided deeper insight into the nature of participation in the collaborative economy and in particular, on respondents’ most recent sharing transactions. The data is demographically representative of the adult (18+) populations of the U.S. and Canada. The results were weighted by age, gender, region and education, to be representative of the demographics of each nation. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 0.4% for the sample of 51,078 and +/- 2.2% for the sample of 2,003, 19 times out of 20. For more information on the survey methodology, please contact


About Crowd Companies

Crowd Companies, launched December 2013, is an association which connects big brands to leaders, startups, and communities in the Collaborative Economy. For more information, please visit: