I originally posted this on October 6, 2016. I’m revising it given the recent Coronavirus outbreak.
I’m breaking from my normal weekly blogs of Airbnb tips because my Dad forwarded me what amounts to spam, chain email which I found intriguing enough to read the entire thing.
It talked about future predictions based on the past. But, the interesting thing is, the furthest the piece goes back is only about 15 years ago. It’s absolutely astounding where we’ve come in 15 years.
A quick anecdote: Video Games
When I was in middle school in the late ’90s, I played a revolutionary game called The Sims.
I wasn’t a huge gamer, but this one captured my imagination. It allowed me to live in a different world, one that I created and had control over.
The main thing I remember about this game is how the computer was too slow for the memory the game needed. When my Sim was walking down the sidewalk, he would skip a few steps at a time causing a permanent delay.
This was extremely frustrating, especially in times needing quick action like when the robber would try to enter the home. But, it’s all I knew.
In a dozen years, think of where we came with video games. I grew up on Sega Genesis, but kids now have never heard the name. Instead, people play each other using the internet all over the world. Virtual reality is breaking onto the scene.
Another anecdote: Smart Phones
I remember always carrying a camera in my pocket in college, ten years ago.
I did this because the camera on the phone was terrible. I remember thinking that it would be incredible if the phone could also have a camera and music. I knew it was possible and would happen, but did not know how soon it would become a reality.
The first iPhone came out while I was in college and I remember using my friends to check Facebook in the middle of the desert while driving to Las Vegas. I don’t think it ever loaded because the speed was so slow, but it was still mind-boggling.
Similarly, in 1998 Kodak had 140,000 employees and sold 90% of all photo paper worldwide. Within a few years, they went bankrupt. What happened to Kodak (a company) will happen to a lot of industries in the next 10 years. Most industries don’t see it coming. In 1998, did Kodak think that 3 years later photo paper would become obsolete in favor of digital?
In 1998 Kodak had 140,000 employees. Within a few years, they went bankrupt. Click To Tweet
What will the world look like in another dozen years in regards to the sharing economy? Here are my predictions:
Prediction #1: The notion of “neighborhood” will greatly shift.
Neighborhoods will be restricted to a few areas of permanent residents.
Instead of a few short-term rentals on any one block, the entire block will be short-term rentals with a few permanent residents.
As Airbnb makes it easier to travel, the internet makes it easier to work remotely, and Coronavirus makes old-school employers understand it’s possible, people will choose to live outside of crowded cities and temporarily in one location.
They will be on a sort of permanent traveling experience in one location for months up to a year, rather than years.
As Airbnb makes it easier to travel, and the internet makes it easier to work remotely...(1/2) Click To Tweet
...people will choose to live outside of crowded cities. (2/2) Click To Tweet
Prediction #2: Cars will be a public good.
No one will have a driver’s license.
You won’t want to own a vehicle. You won’t need one when driverless cars are the norm. There will be no more traffic jams, no more parking garages, no more parking tickets, the streets will have an extra two lanes as there won’t be any parked cars.
You will order a vehicle from your phone which will pick you up outside your front door and drop you off in front of your desired venue, all while you are productive or taking a nap.
In the future, cars will be a public good. Click To Tweet
Prediction #3: People won’t own stuff.
People will own a lot less stuff.
The clothes in your closet, the snowboard you use once per year, the tennis racket you bring out semi-annually, the bike you use occasionally, even the router in your home will all be temporarily rented from those who permanently own.
All the extra stuff won’t be reasonable to own in the new sharing economy with temporary residence. That means in the time being, storage locations will see a surge in demand, but only until people slowly realize they can throw out things permanently.
Prediction #4: Employer’s Will Require Employees to work remotely.
I’ve been working remotely since 2015. At first for an employer, then for myself.
I always assumed that working from home made me unproductive. But the reality was that my daily tasks made me unproductive in any situation where I didn’t have my employer monitoring me.
Once I found tasks I enjoyed, working from home made me at least 6x more productive. Coronavirus is making employees understand that most in-person meetings can be held virtually or via email. And this is making employers realize the possibility of not renewing their next contact extension for the 30,000 square foot office building in one of the most expensive parts of town.
Circling back to the first prediction, the idea of “downtown” will change as cities will no longer need to be built around this high-density area.
What are your future sharing economy predictions within the next decade? Click To Tweet
What are your future sharing economy predictions within the next decade? Let us know in the comments.