Future of Sharing: “Innovate or Die” – How Disruption Pays Off in the Long-Term

Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), believes that while regulation isn’t necessarily bad, it shouldn’t be over-intrusive. The Disruptive Innovation Council, a subset of the CTA, does market research and lobbies governments in the hopes of promoting the idea that innovation is great for society. The CTA also rates every state in the U.S. based on how innovation-friendly it is, evaluating metrics like broadband deployment, STEM graduates, taxation systems, flexible workforce rules, and attitudes towards sharing economy companies. Shapiro believes that the attitudes of legislators towards new technology often depend on their personal familiarity with the product. If they haven’t used it themselves, or something close to it, Shapiro says, they don’t know it. Shapiro generally supports getting products to market first so that consumers can understand them before applying too much regulation.

Shapiro also discussed the larger shifts in our economy, many of which are wrought by technological innovation and disruption. “We are an owning economy,” said Shapiro, “but we are transitioning, because of this next generation, into a borrowing or sharing economy.” Shapiro named multiple benefits he sees in this new economy, including greater sustainability, more efficient utilization of resources, and the opportunity to connect with other people.