The Collaborative Economy

Research Report: The Collaborative Economy: Products, services, and market relationships have changed, as sharing startups impact business models. To avoid disruption, companies must adopt the Collaborative Economy Value Chain.

Author: Jeremiah Owyang, with Christine Tran and Chris Silva

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Webinar: “Adopt the Collaborative Economy Value Chain,” with Jeremiah Owyang, July 16, 2013


Social technologies radically disrupted communications, marketing, and customer care. With these same technologies, customers are now sharing products and services with each other, bypassing existing institutions. Beyond business functions, the Collaborative Economy will impact core business models.

For example, every car-sharing vehicle reduces car ownership by 9-13 vehicles; a revenue loss of at least $270,000 to an average auto manufacturer. The cascading impact to the ecosystem has far reaching impacts to auto loans, car insurance, fuel, time impacts, environmental impacts, auto parts, and other services. For corporations, the direct impact is that consumers can now purchase one product, and share it among many others, reducing revenue in traditional business.

Companies risk becoming disintermediated by customers who connect with each other. This report provides a framework, the Collaborative Economy Value Chain, to help companies rethink their business models, by becoming a Company-as-a-Service, Motivating a Marketplace, or Providing a Platform. The forward-looking company will employ one model; the most advanced companies will employ all three, with the corporation at the center.