Seidel predicts that more products and services will be shared — and organizations that are able to identify a need, then facilitate easy sharing, will thrive.
Transportation will see some of the biggest changes as shared driverless cars replace the need for both taxis and Uber drivers, and as drone technology makes product deliveries fast and simple.
Another major shift will come in manufacturing, where 3D printing technology and shared fabrication spaces will dramatically reduce the need for traditional large-scale manufacturing and shipping.
“You’ll be able to say, ‘I need a replacement door handle,’ get the file from the manufacturer or designer, then send it to a local shared fabrication space,” says Seidel, who points out that Mattel has already released a 3D printer that allows kids to manufacture their own toys. “Then it will be delivered by some sort of shared drone to your door.”
The nature of work will also change, predicts Seidel, and insurance and labour protections will be refined for workers in the sharing sector.
The biggest barriers will come from regulators and traditional businesses who want to control or limit the players; but those hurdles will be overcome in time, says Seidel. The market, he adds, will be far more open, and entrepreneurs will be able to get their products and services to a worldwide market without involving a major corporation.
“Particularly to the younger alumni, my biggest message is that it’s in their hands to envision what comes next, and don’t accept the current status quo,” he says. “Think about what comes next, and be the ones who create it rather than having to react to it.”