Environment Media Technology

In the future, you won’t own anything

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A real shift is happening in how people are living. People are moving away from owning things such as cars, houses, music, books, etc., in favor of accessing and renting these same things on an as-needed basis. People are no longer defining themselves by the things that they own.

Instead of buying a car, young people prefer to use services such as Uber and Lyft. Wikipedia has replaced home encyclopedia sets, physical books have been replaced by e-books read on digital devices, buying CDs has been replaced by digital and streaming music, and buying movie DVDs has been replaced by Netflix.

Media is accessed, not owned.

Also, more and more people are simply paying a monthly fee for access to goods and services that they need. Uber, Spotify, Netflix and Airbnb are all examples of “as a service” companies. Everything is available on-demand and ownership is no longer needed. In fact, Airbnb is now valued at more than Marriot! Airbnb raised 1.5 billion recently valuing the company at 25 billion. This makes their valuation larger than Marriot’s which is around 21 billion.

“As a service” models become more and more feasible when the number of sensors that surround us increases. This development is often called the “Internet of Things”. But when we consider the Internet of Things from the perspective of disappearing products and the increase in new service models, we can effectively conclude that it is, in fact, the “Internet of No Things.”

What is so revolutionary about the “as a service” model? Why is it good not to own things?

Many feel that the “as a service” model signifies a giant step in a more positive direction for humanity. Some would argue that the planet cannot survive with us consuming so much stuff. On-demand is about using things when we actually need them which leads to a less wasteful and more effective use of resources.

It takes a large amount of natural resources to manufacture cars, houses, books, etc. That’s why the digital “as a service” platform show great promise. Considering that we are running out of resources, the “as a service” model could provide a sustainable and positive solution for humanity.

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“In the future, you won’t own anything”