Monday, March 2, 2009

Sharing

Anyone in the creative industry has to feel for music and movie businesses as they battle piracy and file sharing. The desire for FREE on the Internet is a huge challenge to anyone who produces digital entertainment. I think that emerging from the torrent of files containing movies, TV shows, and music tracks that are being forwarded from computer to computer, is a word that will have a terrific impact on our future. That word is share.

In a world where the environment is under threat and credit is harder to find than a CEO on a lunch break, the ability to share – and come up with products that encourage sharing – is a new frontier for innovation. We’re already familiar with some prescient examples, like Zipcar. They set out to help people without cars to share one for a limited time but are inspired by a larger purpose: to enable simple and responsible urban living. You want to pick your mother up from the airport? Zipcar is a great solution to do what you need to do.

The Internet is a virtual machine for sharing – YouTube to share your creativity; Facebook to share your life; Second Life to share your dreams; Wikipedia to share your knowledge and eBay to share your belongings! This is sharing as a way to get more value – and who doesn’t have that near the top of their agenda? It’s not about less but about better. One efficient lawn mower for the street. A full set of home handy tools for an apartment building. Where it gets interesting is the emotional adjustments people are prepared to make. However hard we try to encourage our kids to share, anyone with a two-year-old knows that it doesn’t come naturally! Sharing is a skill born of empathy. We learn it as we learn how to work and play together and to make compromises that benefit us all. Sharing can inspire a renewed sense of community and belonging. Who doesn’t want to have that as part of their life? I believe that making things to share will become a trillion dollar industry as we work together to make the world a better place for us all to live in.

Share this thought with a friend.