Go Lean Commentary
The internet has changed everything.
…especially in the hospitality industry. (Remember Travel Agents?!)
The book and accompanying blog/commentaries for Go Lean…Caribbean posit that the Sharing Economy can emerge more fully in the Caribbean. The Internet & Communications Technology (ICT) provides the tools and techniques. Visitors/tourists will be able to easily search and book houses, condominiums and apartments by connecting directly to the homeowner. This will be a win-win for the homeowner and their guests.
This change is ecstasy for some, but agony for others.
Navigating the world of change is a mission of the Go Lean book. The book posits that the Bed & Breakfast (B&B) industry has evolved with the emerging internet culture and now allow families to share their high-end homes with strangers (and business travelers), in lieu of resort properties (Page 35). This development, like many agents-of-change, brings winners and losers. Hotel room nights and collection of municipal hotel taxes can all be imperiled if this ICT-Sharing development proceeds unchecked. This is why Go Lean promotes “sharing” as a community ethos, so as to mitigate the perils of this industry. We need online sharing tools to target the Caribbean, especially during the peaks of event tourism (festivals, carnivals, fairs). But we need our hotel taxes too.
The challenge with the Sharing Economy, for room rentals and many other areas of life, is one-step forward-two steps-backwards.
See the foregoing news article and the following VIDEO, that depicts the emergence of the company Airbnb:
Video Source: NBC News TODAY Show (Retrieved October 8, 2014) –
Corporate travelers are getting creative, using the Internet and home rental sites like Airbnb to find alternative housing rather than checking into hotels. NBC’s Joe Fryer reports. http://on.today.com/2x9Sicg
Title: Democratizing the Sharing Economy – The Center for Popular Economics
By: Anders Fremstad
The internet has sharply reduced the cost of peer-to-peer transactions. In the 1990s and 2000s, Craigslist and eBay made it much easier to buy and sell secondhand goods, and these sites now facilitate over a million transactions a day. More recently, online platforms associated with the “sharing economy” are helping friends, neighbors, and even strangers borrow, lend, and rent goods. Travellers can reserve a spare room through Airbnb or find a free place to crash on Couchsurfing. People can find a ride on Uber or rent a neighbor’s car on RelayRides. Neighbors can increasingly borrow tools, gear, and appliances free-of-charge on NeighborGoods, Sharetribe, and similar sites.
Most observers celebrate how the sharing economy lowers the cost of accessing goods, but there is a growing debate over how these online platforms should be regulated. Unfortunately, this debate ignores how many of the fundamental problems with the sharing economy arise from its corporate nature. The solution may not be to simply regulate the corporate sharing economy but to also democratize the sharing economy by empowering the people who use these platforms to determine how they work.
Source: http://www.populareconomics.org/democratizing-the-sharing-economy/ Posted 06-24-2014; retrieved 10-10-2014
The book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The roadmap posits that many issues and challenges for a Sharing Economy can only be managed with feasible economies-of-scale. The CU market size of 30 member-states and 42 million people will allow for the leverage to consolidate, collaborate and confederate the organizational dynamics to tackle these issues.
The book Go Lean…Caribbean anticipates the compelling issues associated with room sharing in the emerging new economy.
The book asserts that before the strategies, tactics and implementations of the roadmap can be deployed, the affected communities must first embrace a progressive community ethos. The book defines this “community ethos” as the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society; dominant assumptions of a people or period. The Go Lean book stresses that the current community ethos must change and the best way to motivate people to adapt their values and priorities is in response to a crisis. The roadmap recognizes this fact with the pronouncement that the Caribbean is in crisis, and that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. The region is devastated from external factors: global economic recession, globalization and rapid technology changes.
Cause and effect!
The Go Lean roadmap promotes development activity for the new ICT global economy, first in the anticipation and then in response of the demands of the Sharing Economy. Even if there is no international trade realization, these developments are needed for the integrated domestic “Single Market”. The roadmap incubates these industrial initiatives to promote the practice:
- Caribbean Cloud – The Go Lean roadmap calls for the establishment of the Caribbean Cloud, an online community and social media initiative dubbed as myCaribbean.gov. This effort will be exerted by the Caribbean Postal Union (CPU) so as to impact allCaribbean stakeholders: residents, businesses, Diaspora, trading partners, visitors – a universe of 150 million people. TheCaribbean region accommodates 80 million visitors every year. The strategy of maintaining contact with previous visitors steadily increases the universe … and potential customer-base.
- Mobile Applications – The Go Lean roadmap defines the mastery of time-&-space as strategic for succeeding in mobile apps development and deployment for the region (Page 35). Products like AirBnB and competitors, master mobile apps so that dynamic decisions and impulse buying can be exploited on behalf of touristic properties. Imagine a customer seeing an advertising billboard for a Caribbean resort in a North American city, in the middle of a snow storm, at the moment the desire to partake of Caribbean hospitality may be a great inclination.
The book asserts that to adapt to the new Sharing Economy, there must be a new internal optimization of the region’s strengths. This is defined in the following statement of the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14):
xxvii. Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue – Old Adage regarding marriage and weddings.
The quest to elevate Caribbean society includes embracing the “New Economy” and also optimizing ongoing economic engines; in this case tourism. This can be likened to a marriage. The CU will employ technologically innovative products and services to marry the “New Economy” with the “Old Economy”. This impact is pronounced in the CU‘s prime directives, identified with the following 3 statements:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines.
The subject in this blog/commentary, of focusing on the intersection of the “Old Economy” with the “New Economy”, the 100-year old tourism product with the brand new internet, is a big challenge, requiring brand new leadership. This Agent-of-Change is impacting all aspects of commerce in the modern world, including the tourism product.
This subject of “New Economy’s” shared hospitality services has been previously covered in these Go Lean blogs, highlighted here in the following samples:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1364||Car-Sharing Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic from London to Berlin|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=486||Incubator firm (Temasek) backs Southeast Asia cab booking app GrabTaxi|
In line with the foregoing article and VIDEO, the Go Lean book details the applicable community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies as a roadmap to foster this change/empowerment in the region for the Sharing Economy and to impact the tourism product:
|Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future||Page 26|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship||Page 28|
|Community Ethos – Promote Intellectual Property||Page 29|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Bridge the Digital Divide||Page 31|
|Community Ethos – Ways to Improve Sharing||Page 35|
|Strategy – Confederate 30 Caribbean Member-States||Page 45|
|Strategy – Customers – Citizens, Diaspora and Visitors||Page 47|
|Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology||Page 57|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Caribbean Cloud||Page 74|
|Tactical – Separation of Powers – Caribbean Postal Union (CPU)||Page 78|
|Implementation – Year 1 / Assemble Phase – Establish CPU||Page 96|
|Implementation – 10 Trends in Implementing Data Centers||Page 106|
|Implementation – Improve Mail Services – Electronic Supplements||Page 108|
|Implementation – Ways to Impact Social Media||Page 111|
|Advocacy – Ways to Benefit from Globalization – Level Playing Field with ICT||Page 129|
|Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy||Page 151|
|Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs||Page 152|
|Advocacy – Revenue Sources for Regional Administrations||Page 172|
|Advocacy – Ways to Enhance Tourism||Page 190|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Events||Page 191|
|Advocacy – Ways to Market Southern California||Page 194|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology||Page 197|
|Advocacy – Ways to Foster e-Commerce||Page 198|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact Main Street||Page 201|
|Advocacy – Ways to Promote Call Centers||Page 212|
|Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Diaspora||Page 217|
|Appendix – Urban Bicycle Sharing Model||Page 352|
The roadmap posits that the CU will foster and incubate the Shared Economy and the Mobile Apps industry, thereby forging entrepreneurial incentives and jobs. Under the right climate, innovations can thrive. We need that climate here in the Caribbean; we must remain competitive, as a people and as a tourism market. As related in the foregoing article and VIDEO, the general market is embracing the Shared Economy.
The world has changed!
This change can be good. We can make the Caribbean, a better place to live, work and play.