You want to have consistent access to a vehicle but you don’t want to deal with finding a parking spot, maintaining it throughout the years and paying diligently your monthly insurance. Instead, you can now sign up for Zipcar, order a car through the Lyft or Uber app and have a vehicle at your ready whenever you need it.
You want to travel around the world but you don’t want to miss the convenience of a home with free WiFi, a customized living space and amenities you can’t live without. So, you don’t bother exploring hotels and bed & breakfasts. Instead, you sign up for AirBnB, live in places to your liking, based on your preferences and not optimization of hotel profits.
Welcome to the Mesh. It is a coin termed by Lisa Gansky in her book of the same name: The Mesh: Why the future of business is sharing. Gansky has identified four characteristics all Mesh businesses have in common: They offer something that can be shared, they use advanced web and mobile data networks to track the goods they offer, they focus on physical goods, and they rely on word-of-mouth and social networks. The mesh is a major trend that will shape business in the next decade.
Sharing based businesses generally offer a greater feeling of connection and community. They are more trustworthy because they have to be. And they’re better for the planet – a big and growing driver of consumer decisions, even as the recession deepened a few years back. In this fast-moving environment, it has become an essential business skill to recognize, well ahead of your competitors, the discontinuity that generates new platforms, models, expectations, and brands. The Mesh is that next big opportunity – for creating new businesses and renewing old ones, for our communities, and for the planet.
The Mesh is not exactly new. We’ve always had libraries, hotels and public transportation. Technology has enabled us now to access real-time information via our smartphones, allowing us to share with one another any tidbit of information. Up to now the sharing revolution has primarily swept through a few industries and services but mobile networks have to change physical good and venues, including hotels, care, apparel, tools and transportation.
The Mesh tells the fascinating story how technology is facilitating ways to share the physical essentials of our lives, creating less carbon footprint and things in our home and world. Transforming our lives and generating profits for businesses that participate in the Mesh.