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How many cars has Carmax sold this week compared to the same week last year?

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EXDC: Our survival as a species has everything with the shared economy

The future — that is, if we are to have one — has a lot to do with consumer adoption of the "shared economy", at least according to experts and entrepreneurs in the space.

At EXDC, Thinknum's first External Data Conference, Revel's ($GOREVEL) Paul Suhey and LiquidSpace's ($LIQUIDSPACE) Mark Gilbreath each offered their respective visions for the next ten years when it comes to how the shared economy will change the way humans think about ownership and access to everything from transportation, to living spaces, to workspaces.

Paul Suhey, CEO and co-founder of Revel, a nascent moped-share service that has now launched in Brooklyn, Washington, DC, and most recently Austin, Texas, sees a future in which automobiles will eventually all be shared, reducing the number of cars on the road. This will, of course, leave a lot more room for other modes of transportation that are more environmentally friendly, including bicycles, electric scooters, and, of course, electric mopeds like those from Revel.

Revel's most recent expansion into Austin, Texas, for instance (which we spotted via job listings last month), was predicated on that city's near-capacity transit grid, and he believes the presence of Revel will provide mobility for a city that has become one of America's burgeoning transit hubs.

Mark Gilbreath, founder of LiquidSpace (who we covered in-depth earlier this year), sees a future in which unused office space will become an important resource for a future gig, passion, and mobile economy. As companies become more remote and agile, they will need temporary and even fractional office space as they look away from long-term leases. Meanwhile, the nascent gig and passion economies point to a future in which entrepreneurs will need spaces to not just get things done, but also network with one another.

As consumers "buy in" to the concept of a shared economy, their relative perceptions of resources as well as ownership will go through major shifts. What we're seeing now from companies like Revel and LiquidSpace are, by all alternative data measures, just the beginning.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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Joshua Fruhlinger

Joshua has been writing about technology, lifestyle, and business for over 20 years. He's one of the original writers and editors for Engadget, and still writes a...

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