The Collaborative Economy Honeycomb

Filed Under Innovation

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Arwen Heredia

June 20, 2014

As businesses wrestle with the shifting power dynamic of our increasingly collaborative economy, it’s important that they craft a flexible foundation for structures and strategies. With market control changing hands, customers have more direct influence over trends and innovations than ever before — a challenge that many companies are reluctant to face.

The Resilient Honeycomb

The below visualization demonstrates how a highly-functional collaborative economy model should work, including how societal and economic drivers impact the sharing market, as well as how different technologies can act as tools of empowerment, enablement, and engagement. These are especially critical concepts to take into consideration when developing internal innovation and crowdsourcing processes.

From Crowd Companies:

“The Collaborative Economy enables people to efficiently get what they need from each other. They use powerful technologies that enable Crowdfunding, Peer-to-Peer lending, the Maker Movement, and the Sharing Economy. If you look closely, the crowd is becoming like a company: self funding, designing, producing, and sharing what they already have.

Similarly, in nature, honeycombs are resilient structures that efficiently enable many individuals to access, share, and grow resources among a common group. Various types of bees work in a collaborative manner to feed, care, and grow offspring and grow the colony. Furthermore, the honeycomb structure spreads the load across the structure, wastes little in its design, and are easy to replicate at scale.

In this visual representation, this economy is organized into 6 discrete families (goods, services, space, etc), 14 sub-classes (bespoke goods, personal services, workspace, etc) and dozens of example companies (Airbnb, Uber, Shapeways, etc). In prior taxonomies, there were five families, but now we’re seeking rapid growth in the food sector, which deserved its own hexagon.”


For more on the collaborative economy, check out this SlideShare presentation or take a peek at this infographic.