Shared assets: Do you need to own the things you use?

While not owning assets has been standard practice for heavy machinery and non-mission-critical functions for decades, recently there’s been an accelerating trend towards outsourcing even day-to-day assets – business wise and in our private lives. In the on-demand economy, accessing is better than possessing.

The “Uberisation” trend is spreading to more verticals as technology is enabling delivery of services in a streamlined and cost-efficient way. It is far more cost-effective to share resources than invest in ownership.

Florence Guild will discuss access over ownership with some of Australia’s leaders in the on-demand economy. Meet GoGet and Base Commons and learn how they are taking the shared-economy to the next level.

Base Commons curates experiences and co-living spaces for a new generation.

GoGet brings all the joys of a car with none of the hassles.


Conversation Notes

  • One of the biggest challenges to asset-sharing is breaking down the concept that we need to own things. The concept works, but there is a huge need for behavioural and value shifts to happen first.
  • Early adopters are the people who are willing to let go of the closely-held idea of ownership in lieu of convenience. They are comfortable in just being able to access the resources they need as they need them.
  • Shared asset models are already established in other areas such as co-working spaces and membership-based software usage.
  • What underpins the sharing economy is the aspect of community and a better way of using some of the resources that we do have.
  • Car share exists as one compliment in many as part of a transport system. Public transport should still form the backbone of the system.
  • The concept of the suburban house with the white picket fence hasn’t gone away. Co-living is not the answer for everyone, but we need to see how it can sit alongside the current development process.
  • The more people who share, the more likely we will have compassion and understanding in society at a broader level – about each other as human beings, but also about our belongings and what they mean to us.

“We need to think intelligently about these things rather than just resting on the laurels of what’s been happening for centuries.”


Are you meeting expectations?

A generation or so ago, there was a widespread expectation that when we grew up, we’d get a stable job, get married, buy a house together, and live in the suburbs with a car or two to get us around. While we are certainly doing things quite differently these days, many of us still live with those expectations looming over us.

Now, our relationship and career options are all quite flexible; yet, many of us still want to own our own home and car and we are prepared to borrow large sums of money to do so. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but more of us are starting to question this pathway to see if it still works for us.

Are you benefiting from shared assets?

Job opportunities can pop up in different locations and we can work from almost anywhere via our mobile devices, so not being tied to a mortgage means we can move homes more easily than we used to. In fact, more of us are deciding that we don’t need to own a home at all. Some like the idea of sharing a house or a co-living space. Others happily go from one Airbnb or house sitting arrangement to another. It’s not that different to holiday time-share arrangements or renting a room from someone. The main thing that’s changed is the sheer scale of this ecosystem and the speed of the technology that has enabled it all.

We’re getting used to the idea of Uber, too. We may still use taxis and public transport, but Uber gives us another option that’s often cheaper and more convenient. The shared economy now covers many other assets and services including co-working spaces, peer-to-peer loans, and car-sharing, to name a few.

When people have an asset like a car or spare office space that they are not using much, it makes sense to rent it out to maximise its use. In his article 2 in 3 Aussies use shared economy (Uber, eBay, Airbnb, and more), for Canstar, Sam Bloom referred to the 2017 RateSetter report, the Sharing Economy Trust Index (SETI). The report stated that more than 68% of Australians now use the sharing economy to spend and earn money. I guess that means we are getting the hang of it.

What about the teething problems?

Of course, there will always be teething problems while we develop new ways of doing things, and there is the obvious issue of regulations struggling to catch up, but there are very positive reasons to share more of our assets, too. These include:

  • A greater sense of community, especially for those who chose to live in shared spaces.
  • Better use of resources with little or no wastage.
  • Increased earning potential. Hiring out your assets, skills, and services can be an extra source of income or a whole new way of life – even more so for those who find it difficult to work in a ‘normal’ job.
  • An increased opportunity to enjoy assets you might not otherwise have access to. You can share luxury items like yachts and even private jets that you could never afford on your own.

As more people move into high-density housing, more communal facilities and services, such as parks and gyms, are springing up to cater for them. Many have had to reluctantly give up the idea of owning a pet, though. While the Cat Café Melbourne was set up specifically as a permanent home for rescue cats, they also meet the very human need of providing a safe space where anyone over 8 years old can come and enjoy a cuddle session with the cats for the sheer joy of it. No doubt, we’ll see more and more innovative concepts like this emerge to bring people together in new forms of communities and neighbourhoods.


Justin’s Linkedin: Justin Passaportis

GoGet’s Website:

Danielle’s LinkedIn: Danielle S.

Base Commons’ Website:

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This episode forms part of our 2018 series narrative, ‘The Art of Focus’ which is based on the premise that, in an information-dense society, our attention resources have become depleted. The series’ speakers will help us identify and explore the areas in our lives where we may need to regain focus, increase our self-awareness and improve how we interact with those around us.

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