The Huffington Post: When Google Enables Sharing, the Ecosystem Changes

Posted by IAB Australia On June 25, 2013 Research & Resources

Jeremiah Owyang – What does the potential new Google Mine project mean to the internet? Here’s a breakdown on how it could change the world.

Yesterday’s news leaked out that Google+ is potentially planning on enabling their own users to share goods and products with each other –rather than buy them from retailers and brands. To be clear, this will reduce the revenue to brands and corporations that are locked in old business models of selling. The goods news is, there’s a solution for corporations, called the Collaborative Economy, which means that their own business model must change to enable sharing of products and goods, and eventually allow customers to participate in core business functions.

For a few months, I’ve been tracking this trend, including a list of over 200 startups that enable this , but to hear that Google themselves may enable this, will have some radical ecosystem impacts.

First of all, we don’t know if Google will enable this, they’ve a number of side projects that stay behind the scenes, and those that do, become in perpetual beta. Also, Google has a track record of many products that don’t work (which they sunset after a few years) so there’s no guarantee this will work. Google social product track record is littered with failed attempts like Sidewiki, Dodgeball, Wave, and many others. But let’s imagine it does launch, what impacts would it have on the marketplace:

Scenario: To bring this to life, let’s imagine that I want to go on a family bike ride, but I don’t own any bikes.

The feature set requires users to map out and take inventory of the products that they might want to share, and also to request products they may want to borrow from their friends. This requires two steps: A thriving ‘marketplace’ of owners and borrowers, and two, that users upload their data and explicitly say they request something. This means one of my neighbors would have to upload to Google they have bikes to borrow, and I would have to explicitly indicate I want to borrow the bikes.

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IAB Australia is the peak trade association for online advertising in Australia. As one of over 43 IAB offices globally and with a rapidly growing membership, the role of the IAB is to support sustainable and diverse investment in digital advertising across all platforms in Australia.