Before we start this post I would like to invite the reader to watch this clip, and especially pay attention to what he says about technology versus management at 3:30:
“technology is accelerating five times faster than management”, a very intriguing phrase, and what is perhaps worth considering is what the largest manager off all does with our technology: our governments. If business management is slow, it might not be unfair to say that certain governments possibly move at glazier speed.
Adapting legislation becomes quite difficult when technology is used by ‘disruptors‘, and certainly when these disruptors invent a whole new economy: new companies that use new technologies to create new markets where there is no clear legislation for. What when technology allows citizens to rent out their free rooms? Or carpool? Or be their own taxi service? What didn’t need regulation before because it happened on microscopic scale, is suddenly there. Governments hastily created regulation after regulation, perhaps not entirely understanding that Airbnb is not a hotel, uber not a centralised taxi driver company and blablacar not a transport company.
The term “Collaborative Economy” is specific for a whole new kind of economy, one where ordinary users through the internet can share services, something impossible before our population became so interconnected. Perhaps it isn’t completely ridiculous that governments, and the European Union especially, wonder whether they’re not lagging behind here, and that their ad-hoc regulations and laws are patches made for a ship of the beginning of the 20th century, while they ought to be considering that this ship has become a self-driving, flying machine that can make coffee. This is a new context, a new interconnected reality so to speak, where the offer and demand logic of the old system do not completely correspond with the new. It then doesn’t make sense to try to force this new reality into the legal framework of the old.
Regulation is necessary, however. But the characteristics of the shared economy are wildly different than those of the traditional economies. And we off Access2Europe feel that dialogue between this industry as stakeholders together with governments and especially the European Union will foster great results. Not just for the companies already out there, but also for the new bright minds that are working on new projects and disruptors as we speak.