As we take the next few weeks to dig into what it means to be innovative in the collaborative economy, it’s important to make sense of the universal drivers that have lead so many industries down the path of shareable services.

In the P2P (peer-to-peer) market, consumers are able to transact directly, without interference from “middle-man” brands and organizations. But, because larger businesses still want to manage these interactions globally as they traditionally have, the collaborative economy poses a threat to stability, growth, and scalability. Or does it?

Three Market Forces

Altimeter Group doesn’t think so. In fact, they describe this shift as “an economic model where ownership and access are shared between corporations, start-ups and people. This results in market efficiencies that bear new products, services and business growth.” That analysis leaves plenty of room for larger, established organizations to step in and leverage the possibilities of a P2P landscape. In a recent report, analyst Jeremiah Owyang explains the economic, social, and technological drivers that have lead us to develop a marketplace dependent on streamlined sharing and connections, which include things like augmented altruism, financial flexibility, and social networking.

3 Market Forces Collab Eco_INFOGRAPHIC

Trust, Standards, and the Value Chain

This kind of marketplace may be where we are and where we’re destined to go, but it’s not without some fairly significant challenges. According to the report, the most demanding issues to overcome include government interference, distrust between parties (sellers and buyers), a lack of systems and data standards, uncertainty about the model being sustainable, and current market leaders perceiving the model as too threatening, and as a result, go out of their way to prevent sharing of products and services.

In terms of steering innovation initiatives, this presents a couple of very obvious problems: repeatable innovation requires a systematic approach and long-term applicability; and, it requires a decent helping of transparency (trust). Altimeter offers up the solution of their Collaborative Economy Value Chain:

collab economy value chain altimeter

This particular model represents increased maturity and greater investment in atypical programs that have the potential to bring about tangible results. But until concrete practices and patterns emerge, it’s unlikely that we’ll see the collaborative economy fully eclipse the traditional marketplace. Organizations that choose to risk the disruption, however, can expect to generate results (and possibly, mishaps) on-par with that seen in current start-up culture. It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it.

Want to learn more? Check out the full report here.