Every industry has gained success stories by sharing. Did you know that sharing things with people can save you a lot of money?
New business opportunities created by the sharing economy
The sharing economy represented by Airbnb's private lodging service and Uber Technologies' ride-sharing service is rapidly expanding the market all over the world. As of 2016, the sharing economy market in China has reached about 65,670 billion yen (according to the China Electronic Commerce Research Center). German Chancellor Angela Merkel's brain and civilization and economic commentator Jeremy Rifkin wrote in a recent book (Japanese translation: "Society with Zero Marginal Costs and the Rise of the Sharing Economy", NHK Publishing), "Current Capitalist Economy. Will come to an end and move to the sharing economy. "
Is such a paradigm shift really happening? And what are the business opportunities of the sharing economy? We talked to two people who are at the forefront of the sharing economy in Japan.
The spread of the Internet will increase the momentum to review over-ownership
"Under the conventional capitalism, the world was driven by the needs of large corporations and wealthy people." Yuji Ueda, CEO of the Sharing Economy Association, points out this. GaiaX, which he founded, operates a sharing economy business that performs CtoC (consumer-to-consumer) matching such as ride sharing and meal sharing within the group.
In order for a company to continue to make a profit in a capitalist economy, it is necessary for consumers to continuously purchase goods and services. Mr. Ueda commented, "Promotional activities to continue to make a profit are creating over-ownership and over-consumption." For example, the operating rate of private cars is said to be about 5%. This means that it is used for just under 20 days when converted to a year. Housing is also in excess. According to the "Housing and Land Statistics Survey" conducted by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications every five years, the vacant house rate (the ratio of vacant houses to the total number of houses) in 2015 was a record high of 13.5%. As many as 8.2 million homes are underutilized.
GaiaX Co., Ltd.
President and Representative Executive Officer
General Incorporated Association Sharing Economy Association
"Despite having idle assets in various areas, we have been accustomed to over-owning in a capitalist economy. However, the spread of the Internet and smartphones has made people and people, or businesses and people. The waste of over-ownership and over-consumption is being reviewed as it becomes easier to connect with people. Many people realize that there are many assets in the world that are playing and that it is possible to make effective use of them. That's because when people connect, they help each other naturally like in the good old days. Japanese tenement houses that support each other's lives by building close communication in the neighborhood are of the sharing economy. You can think of it as a kind. "
The country has also begun to promote the sharing economy. In January 2018, the Cabinet Secretariat established an organization called the "Sharing Economy Promotion Office" in the IT Comprehensive Strategy Office. In addition to providing information and consultation services, this organization is working on disseminating and promoting voluntary rules, coordinating liaison with related ministries and agencies, and introducing best practices.
However, there seem to be a lot of issues in Japan regarding the spread of the sharing economy. Among them, the two major issues are the development of legal systems that hinder the provision of services and the mechanism that guarantees the safety and security of users.
Mr. Ueda says, "Most of the current legal system was enforced long before the Internet and smartphones became widespread. We do not envision the current environment where people are always connected." .. Although legislation is being developed following the enactment of the Housing Accommodation Business Law (New Minpaku Law) in 2017, deregulation in various areas is necessary to expand the sharing economy in Japan. Mr. Ueda said, "It is necessary to promote deregulation while improving safety efforts adapted to the sharing economy by rotating the PDCA cycle. Otherwise, the sharing economy will spread all over the world. In the meantime, only Japan may be left behind. As a result, even if deregulation occurs later, services that have already grown overseas will take over the Japanese market. " To do.
Sharing economy saves Japanese economy
The Sharing Economy Association was established in December 2015 with the major purpose of solving these issues, led by Mr. Ueda and Mr. Daisuke Shigematsu of the space market that will appear later. The association is (1) to realize a society in which all people can participate in economic activities in various ways, (2) to activate new economic activities and contribute to the development of the Japanese economy as a whole, and (3) platform business. We are developing activities with three visions: a healthy business environment for people and the establishment of a user protection system. Approximately 250 companies, mainly companies that provide CtoC sharing services, are listed as members.
Mr. Ueda emphasizes that the expansion of the sharing economy will have a great economic effect on Japan, where the birthrate is declining and the population is aging. "There is also a survey result that the market size of the sharing economy, which was about 28.5 billion yen in 2015, will expand to 60 billion yen by 2020 (according to Yano Research Institute). If the activities of the association accelerate the spread , Further economic effects can be expected. " He points out that he contributes significantly to regional revitalization, which is an urgent social issue. This is because there are abundant idle assets in rural areas that do not currently add any value. He added, "Services that are completed only in the Internet space are dominated by US companies, but the sharing economy needs to be connected to the entity. In other words, it must be established in each region. In that sense, it originates in Japan. It can be said that there are still possibilities for this service. "
The Sharing Economy Association has implemented a certification system called "Sharing City" in order to contribute to regional revitalization. It is a system that certifies local governments that have introduced two or more sharing services of association member companies and are conducting public relations activities to promote the spread of the sharing economy. Along with holding a "local government summit" in which certified local governments participate, the association will develop public relations activities for local governments through its website and e-mail newsletter for members.
Mr. Ueda expects that the sharing economy will be a big movement including large companies. That's because, as you can see from the examples of Airbnb and Uber, the sharing economy has some aspects that destroy traditional businesses. It is predicted that large companies will also engage in sharing economy activities themselves, as their business may be eroded if they do their best.
I am convinced that it is a business that energizes Japan
Along with Mr. Ueda, the representative director of the Sharing Economy Association is Mr. Daisuke Shigematsu, who is the representative director / CEO of the space market. The company operates a service called "Space Market," which makes it easy to rent and borrow spaces that are not normally used. We also provide a unique space that meets various needs, such as spaces for meetings and events, old folk houses, movie theaters, temples, and stadiums. In 2018, sales have been good for 7 consecutive months, more than 300% compared to the same month of the previous year.
Mr. Shigematsu started the company in January 2014. The idea of "effective use of empty space" came up at the company where he worked in his previous job. The company had a seminar room with a low occupancy rate, and I was very pleased to rent it to another company. Mr. Shigematsu looks back on those days as follows.
Space Market Co., Ltd.
Representative Director / CEO
General Incorporated Association Sharing Economy Association
Mr. Daisuke Shigematsu
"The service of effectively utilizing free space has benefits for both lenders and borrowers, and eliminates wasted free time. I thought this might be a hint to energize Japan."
Above all, entrepreneurship was supported by the fact that it would lead to a declining population in rural areas and the associated vacant house problem. He says, "Idle assets will be a valuable resource for making money in rural areas. I am convinced that it will be an interesting business that solves social issues and energizes Japanese society."
Although the company is maintaining good performance now, there was a difficult time when the number of contracts concluded in a month was a single digit at the beginning of its establishment. He was forced into the backwaters in terms of management, but he never thought of giving up. Mr. Shigematsu says, "It takes time to get the platform business that matches properties and people on track. It is a business that makes the world better, so I believed that if I had the time, I would definitely succeed."
It is said that there is almost no concern that business performance will deteriorate sharply now. This is because the platform business has a "network effect" in which resources are concentrated on the service as the number of users of the service increases. Currently, more than 2000 properties are listed in the marketplace, including conference rooms, temples and shrines, studios with kitchens, and baseball stadiums. At the time of its founding, there were many corporate customers as borrowers, but now 90% of the cases are individual users and 70% of the sales are individual users. There are various ways to use it, such as parties, moms' parties, and photography. It is said that many individual users use the service repeatedly.
The company is currently embarking on new sharing services other than empty space. In 2017, we launched the private lodging service "Space Market STAY". However, Mr. Shigematsu does not consider it a new business. "I think this is one step in answering the needs of our customers. There are many registrations of old folk houses in the space market, but after renting in the daytime, there are a lot of people saying" I want to stay there. " We want to increase what we can do based on the voices of our customers. "
It is necessary to review the business on the premise of the shelling economy
Mr. Shigematsu points out that Japan is lagging behind in the sharing economy. "Every time I go abroad and listen to it, I feel that the difference is getting bigger and bigger," he says. Legal development and ensuring the safety and security of users are hindering the spread of the sharing economy, but Mr. Shigematsu prefaces that "it is important to start first," and warns as follows.
"The method of'thinking while running'may not be suitable for Japanese people. However, the sharing economy has a network effect, so if you wait for the environment to be fully prepared, it will definitely be later. It will be taken, and it will be a global competition, so it is important to commercialize it as soon as possible. If you think about things based on the existing legal system and preconceived ideas, innovation will not occur. Regulation The sharing economy refuses to innovate. "
Mr. Shigematsu, like Mr. Ueda, predicts that the sharing economy will expand rapidly. In fact, sharing economy services have already begun in various fields in Japan. The "Sharing Economy Area Map" created by the Sharing Economy Association includes (1) "Share x Space" (home share, parking lot, conference room), and (2) "Share x Things" (Furima Rental). ), (3) "Share x Move" (Car Share / Ride Share / Share Cycle), (4) "Share x Skill" (Household / Nursing / Childcare / Knowledge / Cooking / Education / Tourism), (5) "Share" 96 companies are listed in five areas: "x money" (crowdfunding).
Mr. Shigematsu emphasizes, "Existing companies should also review their products and services on the premise that a sharing economy society will arrive." For example, if you are an automobile manufacturer, you should review the specifications and functions on the assumption that it will be used for car sharing. Car sharing is much more occupying than privately owned, so it may be necessary to make it more durable. In order for anyone to understand the operation method at a glance, it would be a good idea to standardize steering devices and instruments for car-sharing models.
"Sharing economy area map"
From the Sharing Economy Association website (https://sharing-economy.jp/ja/)
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Japan's sharing economy is still at the entrance
Looking at the "sharing economy area map", we can see that various services have already been developed in Japan. Still, Mr. Shigematsu says, "The sharing economy service in Japan is still the entrance."
"I want you to use it more and consume it wisely. And I want you to think about having a way to earn wisely. New services are being created one after another, and more people are using the service. That is the ideal of the sharing economy. "
Even if you invest money, the platform business cannot be established immediately, and it is necessary to take time steadily. Mr. Shigematsu, who knows the hardships, says that it is also the fun of the sharing economy that people who take on positive challenges can grow and play an active role.
At the forefront of the sharing economy, we still hope for the emergence of many services.