The business realm’s buzzword of recent months: “the sharing economy”, continues to dominate discussion on the topic of market saturation. For every positive take on the digital rental phenomenon, like: how it can empower low-income consumers, there’s a negative rebuttal, such as: how it has produced a mercilessly competitive environment for startup copycats where only the wealthiest receive recognition.
Two parking space startups from opposite sides of the world have chosen to forgo the competitive element associated with the sharing economy by teaming up. The results prove to be exemplary for any sharing economy participant: a better user experience and consequently, market growth.
Limited space? Think again
It’s no secret that the sharing economy is rife with competition. After all, new and exciting business models that connect and give power to individuals are bound to conflict with older ones that suddenly find themselves struggling for a slice of the pie.
In a starkly contrasting move to dealing with “the competition”, YourParkingSpace.co.uk, the UK’s fastest growing online parking marketplace, has partnered with Australia’s leading online parking marketplace, Parkhound.
While some may argue that healthy competition is the precise catalyst behind groundbreaking advancements in customer satisfaction, it’s a myth that it’s always productive. In one story of sabotage, the ride-sharing platform Uber was accused of booking, then immediately cancelling more than 5000 rides from its main competitor Lyft in an attempt to wreak havoc with its services.
Uber remains on an upward trajectory and is still enjoying growing popularity while Lyft is still off-radar for most people. But was its aggressively competitive approach the best way to deal with a saturated market?
Your Parking Space and Parkhound
Although there are significant similarities between YourParkingSpace.co.uk and Parkhound, the motivating factor behind their partnership was what separated them, i.e. how they implemented technology and industry knowledge.
With a desire to “bring parking into the digital age”, the companies will be sharing their expertise and proven-to-be-successful practices.
Parkhound co-founder Rob Crocitti has spoken favourably of the partnership that has enabled Parkhound to learn about the monitoring and support system technology that YourParkingSpace.co.uk uses in over 250,000 parking spaces in the UK. With Parkhound’s insight, YourParkingSpace.co.uk will be able to co-trial new features in the UK market that will vastly improve the user experience.
Share and share alike
The managing director of YourParkingSpace.co.uk, Harrison Woods, is no stranger to the world of business. He was a successful contestant on the venture capitalist investment show Dragon’s Den (attracting investment offers from Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis) before he was even out of university.
His reaction to the partnership has been equally as positive:
“We relish the fact that we are helping Australia’s Number 1 car parking marketplace expand and assist more drivers in finding affordable parking.”
Some companies have sought to raise their status by partnering with unrelated businesses. Uber’s recent collaboration with Topshop is a prime example of such tactics. But there’s no reason why would-be competitors shouldn’t consider joining forces, and not just for publicity either.
Excited by a long and prosperous relationship with Parkhound, Harrison cited the importance of sharing resources in order to boost growth and enhance customer satisfaction.
Despite earning a destructive reputation of late, perhaps the sharing economy should be credited as potential force for interconnected good following its role as the core producer of this mutually beneficial partnership.