The Rise of the Collaborative Commons
The heart of this transformation is collaborative commons, which, Rifkin says, is emerging from the old paradigm of capitalism. He illustrates with the following example: “In a traditional market, sellers are always constantly probing for new technologies that can increase their productivity, reduce their marginal costs so they can put out cheaper products and win over consumers and market share and beat out their competitors and bring some profit back to investors. So business people are always looking for ways to increase productivity and reduce their marginal cost, they simply never expected in their wildest dreams that there would be a technology revolution so powerful in its productivity that it might reduce those margins of cost to near zero making goods and services essentially free, priceless and beyond the market exchange economy. That's now beginning to happen in the real world.”
The Internet of Things, according to Rifkin, will increasingly connect everyone and everything in a seamless network. “We can go up on this Internet of Things now and we can take that big data flowing through the system from the devices all the way to these three Internets and any of us with our own apps and our own mobile technology will be able to use the big data and combine it with analytics to create our own algorithms just like the big guys at Google,” he says, illuminating possibilities that once seemed like science fiction. “And it won't be rocket science because those apps will be programmed for us. So we can create our own apps with our mobile technology, using that big data to dramatically increase our productivity, reduce our marginal cost in the production of physical things like energy and 3-D printed products. That's already begun.”
What are your thoughts on the Collaborative Commons? I've added the book to my list and am looking forward to learning more on Rifkin's thoughts around the Internet of Things, Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism.