Social media has established itself in our psyche over the last decade. It's changed our behaviour enough that we're turning our backs on company websites, in favour of the “truth” we can find by asking the world for their views.
Now that we're comfortable with talking to strangers, the next step is working with them. The crowd is becoming a company, or rather a whole series of companies, where the line between customers and employees is blurred.
Jeremiah Owyang is a man to watch. He's currently seeding the idea of the collaborative economy to corporations big and small. Many others, such as Shane Hughes (in the video below), show how this notion of access, rather than ownership is changing the economy.
Co-operation between people to link those who want something with those who already have it, is not a new thing, but the movement now gaining pace, encourages us to share and use resources only as we need them. A concept that sounds like a hippie throw back, might just be the future of business.
So if you'd like ...
- more efficient sales, marketing and staffing processes
- deeper relationships with consumers and suppliers
- to be able to add value to the relationships between customers
... then the early adopter opportunities are just waiting to be had.