The Woman Behind Collaborative Consumption

This week I want to have a closer look on the woman behind collaborative consumption, since I consider  women in business as  a very current and controversial topic. We all know  people supporting women who are trying to establish themselves in the economy and those who consider women in business  as one of the dumbest ideas of the last decades.
The following infographic is just to give you a quick overview about the discrepancies between men and women in business. Please, take a look at it to figure out how this phenomenon is expressed in real numbers

However, there are still examples which successfully display that women and business can be as suitable as women and shoes.


That is why I  created a little fictional interview with Rachel Botsman (please note that the answers in the interview are only based on research and were only partly said by Rachel Botsman in real life). The attractive brunette is Co-author of the book “What´s Mine Is Yours” and is held for one of the founders of the sharing-economy, who is enjoying a great reputation in the sharing community at the moment.




What was your initial plan, your vision or even your motivation to start thinking about collaborative consumption?


“The initial plan was to start a movement. Having worked for nearly a decade in brand consulting, including at the agency Prophet, and as an early employee of the Clinton Global Health initiative to combat childhood obesity. I wanted take the best ideas I saw in business much further and faster.

I got to this point in my early 30s where I said ‘I have incredible experiences, how do I take a leap of faith to make a much bigger difference? I left the nest of my day job to generate good data, and a common vernacular about something I was observing in my travels around the world: collaborative consumption.”

If we are honest, this sharing phenomenon has been existent, of course in different forms, for decades. What potential do you see in collaborative consumption, especially nowadays?

“”Sharing is caring, but it’s so much more, I realized years ago. I believe the collaborative consumption business model can help companies better provide services and goods to people wherever and whenever they need them, at a price they can afford, and allow businesses to profit and thrive, without draining our natural resources.

When did your big success start?

By 2010,  I had steeped myself in research about the sharing economy. I co-authored a book with Roo Rogers, What’s Mine Is Yours…that helped take the concept of the sharing economy mainstream.
Supported by my performance at  TED talk  Collaborative Consumption quickly became public.

I have heard that you almost did not take the job offer of Craig Shapiro, founder of Collaborative Fund. Since it is closely connected to what you represent this sounds a bit confusing.

 “”The answer was simple “I don’t do finance. I don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of venture capital, but I know a lot about this space you’re investing in.” and as Collaborative found is about investing in start-ups who are entering the sharing economy, this finance aspect was a very crucial concern of mine, but  Shapiro simply  responded: ‘Other brilliant people on our team know the venture side, and it will be a brilliant combination.’ He convinced me to give this a try.”

I see, going one step further, what would you advice young start-ups, entering the sharing economy?

“This quote from Gary Player sums up my advice for entrepreneurs: ‘The harder I practice, the luckier I get.’

How do people react to a woman who successfully established herself in business?

 “People used to look at me a few years ago like I was crazy. Now everybody comes to ask me ‘What’s the next Airbnb’ in this space?” When I say everybody, I mean everybody, including high-profile investors and entrepreneurs. It is nice to experience being treated as an authority in this area, now.”

I would claim that it is possible to share nearly everything. However, what would be something you won´t share?

“I’ll be really honest, there’s lots of things that I find very easy to buy secondhand, or to share, like the kids stuff, and the car. But I find swapping my own adult clothes very strange. I don’t know why that is. Everyone has their thing, and their limit. That’s mine.”

Having considered all those successes, I would be interested whether you want to continue ?

“I don’t want to say exactly what it is [the book] but it will look into reputation, trust, and what’s happening with money. How we exchange money is changing. What will that look like in 15 years time? How will banks be reinvented? How will payment systems and currency be changed? The big idea is around all those fragments.”