There's a lot of discussion these days around what to call companies like Airbnb, Task Rabbit, Uber, Home Joy and others.
They're mostly referred to as "sharing economy" companies. But as the Harvard Business Review article The Sharing Economy Isn't About Sharing At All points out:
the sharing economy isn't really a “sharing” economy at all; it’s an access economy.
The article goes on to say the big advantage of these firms is they provide "consumers with convenient and cost efficient access to resources without the financial, emotional, or social burdens of ownership."
Because of this, the authors of this article think this sector should be called the access economy.
But despite liking the term "access economy", we don't think it's broad enough to cover the rapidly growing number of online platform and marketplace companies that connect customers with suppliers who quickly or immediately deliver goods and services.
We think "on-demand economy" does a better job of describing this broad and diverse segment.
We still love the term "sharing economy" and think it's one of the all time great marketing monikers. In our minds calling renting sharing is right up there with calling death insurance life insurance.
And we still plan on using this term when sharing is really involved. See Shareable Magazine for true sharing examples.
But we're going with the on-demand economy as the broad term we use for this sector. It's not perfect, but seems the best option.