Day 106: Can you live entirely off the sharing economy?
Judging from the 47 kronor I have in my wallet, I would say no. But on a more serious note, I guess it depends on how you define the sharing economy.
Can you make a living as an Uber driver? Sure. But is being a taxi driver really being part of the sharing economy? Not because you get paid to do it, but because it seems to me that to signify something at all the sharing economy must be about using some resource that wouldn't have been used (as efficiently) otherwise. In a report published last year by Swedish Entreprenörskapsforum (written by Anna Felländer, Claire Ingram and Robin Teigland) for example the authors define it as "the peer-to-peer exchange of tangible and intangible slack (or potential slack) resources".
The way I understand it is that if I have some extra time and use it to earn some money on Taskrabbit or Uber it is sharing economy. But if this is my full time occupation then it's not. In that case it seems that almost by definition it's impossible making a living entirely off the sharing economy. Or did I understand it wrong? I'm not an economist so I'd be happy to hear any comments on this.
For me personally renting out rooms in the apartment on Airbnb is a good source of income. It doesn't take too much time cleaning sheets, rooms and making beds. And it pays the rent. But the rest... renting out bikes or tools seem to be a pretty hopeless project so far. And even if I do earn some money sending sausages or cleaning houses (if this really counts), it is a lot less than I would as a writer.
This is one reason why I decided from the start that this will not be one of the restrictions of this project. It might be possible for me to live on the 12 000 kronor or so that I make per month. But why would I? I don't see the point in trying to live on as little money as possible. Rather I want to show how the sharing economy can add to your regular economy.
Well, having said all this, I'm now living off the things I find in the freezer, because of the 47 kronor. Today's dinner was a chicken stock with vegetables, beans, cashew nuts and cilantro. This is the first time I make this, and it was excellent, so I'm glad I decided to put two chicken carcasses in the freezer some months ago. And I even found some old fortune cookies for dessert.