The concept of leveraging assets instead of owning them has taken various forms throughout history. In modern times, exponential organizations have emerged as companies that leverage technology to access, rent, or share non-owned assets to stay agile. This approach allows businesses to scale quickly and be nimble, even with mission-critical assets.
Airbnb and Uber are examples of companies that have transformed the lodging and transportation industries by thinking of underutilized resources and connecting them on a social platform. AWS, on the other hand, was created by Amazon to sell infrastructure as a service, which has now become a major revenue stream for the company. Companies like Curve and Waze have also leveraged existing assets to create innovative solutions for simplifying finances and improving traffic navigation.
The idea of non-ownership being the key to owning the future is gaining traction, but it’s important to note that ownership may be the better option for rare or extremely scarce resources. However, for information-based or commoditized assets, accessing them is often more advantageous than possessing them. Overall, leveraging assets instead of owning them has proven to be a viable strategy for exponential organizations to remain flexible and responsive to changing market conditions.