Guest post by Mary Noulles, Marketing Communications Manager at Triple-I, Kansas City’s premier technology consultancy focused on the application of emerging technology. With more than five years of experience in brand and marketing strategy development, she proudly supports Triple-I’s efforts to help build the Silicon Prairie. Triple-I are also a sponsor of Social: IRL’s Resilient Summit. We are grateful for their support.
A few years ago, our family decided to spend the Holidays the right way – with each other, disconnected from work and the day-to-day distractions of social media, our busy lives and just plain noise. So what better way to escape than in the remote town of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. We booked our flights and later, our rental home via AirBnB. Then, all we had to do was wait for sunny Costa Rica.
The above story is relatively commonplace for most vacationing families and couples. However, there was a growing movement happening right before me. Our inclination to reserve a room via AirBnB was natural – we didn’t browse major hotel and resort sites nor did we compare prices with a travel agent. Instead, we researched and selected a home, someone else’s home, we thought would be the most accommodating – all from the comfort of a couch with a glass of wine and nothing but daydreams.
Founded to connect travelers with unique accommodations across the globe, AirBnB is an online portal for people to research, list and reserve rooms or homes for vacations. Want to stay in a penthouse in a New York? No problem. House in the trees? It has that, too. In fact, in a recent Forbes article, AirBnB stated it will “eclipse Hilton to be the world’s largest hotelier in 2014.” To me, it’s because AirBnB isn’t selling a rental home – it’s selling an affordable lifestyle, an experience, that many years ago seemed only attainable for the Joneses.
Our increased adoption of sharing services, like AirBnB, is indicative of a movement identified as the “collaborative economy.” As subject matter expert Jeremiah Owyang says, the collaborative economy is the global shift toward “human to human” marketing and business collaboration. The collaborative economy removes silos of “corporate America,” allowing employees, clients and consumers to be a part of the decision-making process at all levels.
With the rise of the devices and an increasingly mobile workforce, the collaborative economy leverages the intersection of creativity and technology to make us more efficient and to enable enterprise collaboration. And nowhere is this global trend better positioned for growth than in the Kansas City region.
With our unique blend of Silicon Valley innovation and Midwest values, our business ecosystem represents a symbiotic approach to success; “we” versus “me.” From Sprint’s increased investment in the startup community – whether it be in the newly established Sprint Accelerator or in its partnership with Local Ruckus – to Kansas City’s effort to be “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City,” our region is poised to be a leader in the collaborative economy; we will lead in the New Reality versus follow in the new normal.
We blend industry and academia, connect students with corporations and invest in our community to fuel innovation. With grassroots efforts like Athena League, led by representatives from Poslinelli, Kauffman Foundation and Triple-I, as well as groups like KC Women in Technology and the Women in STEMM, our region leads our nation’s effort to invest in and foster female entrepreneurship and leadership. Our community and the innovators, creatives, technologists, students, teachers, business professionals and civic leaders who comprise it are the collaborative economy. It’s a mindset, one that’s inherent in our Silicon Prairie.
Join us February 6-7 and learn how our community can continue to leverage this momentum to create, build and lead in our collaborative economy. We’ll see you there.