The Collaborative Economy Is Real (And It's Here)

David Armano, Dec 10, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

So anyhow Jeremiah Owyang announced his new venture "Crowd Companies" at LeWeb in Paris and picked up some tech-business press, which is what LeWeb is all about. These are two very different perspectives. The Wired article (of course) gushes. "Of all the big ideas to emerge out of Silicon Valley in the past decade, none seem to resonate with personal computing’s counterculture roots as much as the so-called sharing economy... As it turns out, however, sharing has also shown itself to have striking profit potential." David Armano focuses on "the collaborative economy" (and not so much sharing). "Individuals who have never met in real life (makers), collaborating over the Web... " to make products at a fraction of what they would have cost otherwise. I think there's value in community production - I gave two talks on the idea today - but I'm less sanguine abpout it being so easily monetized. When community becomes economy, it becomes all about factories, and never parks and schools.

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