Last Thursday, we were very lucky to welcome Cameron Tonkinwise for our first OuiShare Talk at Mutinerie.
Instead of a long and exhaustive report of his inspiring talk, I would like to share with you 3 ideas that I have kept in mind since Thursday. (Please note that the rephrasing is mine)
1) Hey you, French people, keep on collaborating, it’s your greatest strength !
First thing Cameron Tonkinwise told us on Thursday was that he had noticed a fair amount of collaboration in our growing French collaborative economy. Not that evident according to his experience of American start-ups. Running for investors can drive you away from a genuine collaborative workstyle.
2) Once they have reached critical mass, start-ups should think carefully about their next step of devopment.
Most start-ups in the collaborative economy need to gather enough users to become functional. Critical mass is thus their very first key objective. What Cameron pointed out is that contradictions can appear when they have reached this critical mass and investors begin to be interested in their business model. Most investors are likely to settle turnover objectives so that they can get a sufficient return on investment. That means moving up to the next level of scale, which could result in changing the initial purpose of the project. Or move the enterprise from a social economy, based on trust, to a money economy, compensating a loss of trust.
3) Sharing economy begins when you enter the arena
That means when you are personnaly involved in a collaborative operation, be it for or non-profit, and related to objects, activities, knowledge or whatever. When people “enter the arena” with their own personnality, opinions, experiences, it can create social friction. For Cameron, social friction should be preserved, because it means society is still alive. However, business is more likely to encourage smoothness. Let’s hope it will be by promoting mediation rather than standardization.