The Sharing Economy – Arun Sundararajan book review

This is a book review for The Sharing Economy from the author Arun Sundararajan, that I finished reading on January 4th, 2017. Why I read this book in the first place? I did a research with the keyword blockchain into my local library database. I was curious about the title, I enjoy topics about business and economy, so it was natural to pick up this book.

I am someone who read on a regular basis to expand my view on topics that I enjoy. It's important to learn new stuff in the fast world we live in those days. Especially when new fields come into the market like the blockchain technology and the sharing economy that I was not very familiar with.

The author introduces his subject with some examples of sharing the economy with what we have on the market, and have proved to work pretty well. Those examples are companies like Airbnb that permit you to find a place to sleep and for the owner to rent his home. When you need a ride, someone, can use a site like Lyft where the driver makes some money on his free time.

He explains in detail what is the sharing economy in the world we are living in today. The technology has opened news business model that emerge on the internet and create news opportunity for the workforce. People can make some money with side jobs from those platform like Airbnb and Lyft.

I found the beginning of the book, not the most interesting. The author uses too many examples from his personal interactions with people on the scene. For someone like myself reading many names from this industry or this person work, is not very appealing. I prefer when the author goes directly to the core of the subject.

The part I liked the most, was the blockchain section of the book. Chapter 4 is a complete section on the subject that he call the blockchain economy. He talks about bitcoin, also the decentralized market OpenBazarr who uses smart contract included on the transaction.

The rest of the book is more about the consequences of the sharing economy and what it will bring for the workforce. The traditional work day from 9 to 5 could disappear in a near future. And people need to be aware of the alternatives available on the market. In this competitive market, companies now have the choice to hire freelancers for micro jobs instead of hiring a full-time employee. Today someone can work full time and make extra income simply driving his car with the platform Uber.

The author introduces a complete chapter on regulation and the challenge that the government will have to deal with. For the government to implement new rules on the sharing economy will be a challenge, it's not the same way as the traditional job market. I think it's important to know more about this topic, even if it's not the most interesting part from my own point of view.

I recommend the reading of this book for anyone who wants to know more what this market is and where it is going. You need to take your time reading it because you're surely be introduced to news concept your not familiar with. Overall it is a nice book you should put under your belt and read on the bus when you are going to work or with a nice coffee in your couch on a Sunday morning with your cat.

The Sharing Economy: The End of Employment and the Rise of Crowd-Based Capitalism (MIT Press) (Kindle Edition)


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