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How Companies like Uber and Yelp are Building a New Sharing Economy

Kelsey Pommer, Sr. Coordinator, Digital Media Marketing, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™

You’ve probably heard of it on the news or experienced it in your daily life. The “Sharing Economy” can be broadly defined as new platforms, often online, that allow any user to more efficiently exchange goods, services and ideas. The sharing economy enhances consumer choice, lowers barriers to entrepreneurship and boosts competition. 

From car rides to 3D printing, some of our innovative CEA members have been at the forefront of the sharing economy movement. Here are just a few: 
Uber’s ridesharing model, founded in 2009, provides transportation services to hundreds of cities all around the world. By using an app on your smartphone, you can request a ride, specify what kind of car you want and even have your favorite tunes played inside the car with Spotify.
SEE ALSO: June is CEA’s Member Appreciation Month and we are celebrating and sharing stories from innovative members all month long.

Lyft is another ride-sharing app that allows you to be picked up from wherever you are (in one of the many cities they service). With options for regular-sized cars, larger cars and even the ability to share rides with others going in the same direction, Lyft’s smartphone app helps you get where you need to go. 


Pinshape is a community and marketplace that is a powerful resource for makers and designers who want to find or share their 3D printable designs. Pinshape offers 3D printing designs ranging from chess sets to lighting fixtures, as well as opportunities to enter contests and collaborate via an online forum.


Yelp offers a place to share and receive valuable information about local businesses like restaurants and the local dry cleaner. Did you know sites like Yelp are at risk? CEA, through the Innovation Movement, is dedicated to protecting the sharing economy and free speech on the Internet. Find out more and urge your U.S. representative to co-sponsor the SPEAK FREE Act, which protects your right to post reviews online.