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PwC Up front | Issue 5 | Harnessing technology

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Up front Summer 2014 7 "It's an interesting time to be a big brand right now," says Andrew Reid. The head of technology company Vision Critical wants to help traditional enterprises fi nd their place in the collaborative economy, a social movement that is rapidly turning sharing into the new buying. The collaborative economy may be disrupting old business models, but Reid puts it in perspective. "This is about people getting the best product at the best price in the most fl exible way possible," he says, referring to key players such as property rental service Airbnb Inc. and custom-product marketplace Etsy Inc. "Those are core tenets that every big business is all about. And so if you look at these broad categories and the speed at which this economy's growing, there's a lot at stake for big brands to pay attention to." Reid is Founder, President and Chief Product Offi cer of Vancouver-based Vision Critical, which specializes in what it calls insight communities – online groups of customers and prospects. The company powers these communities for more than 650 brands worldwide, including U.S. media conglomerate Discovery Communications Inc., Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. and Colombian airline Avianca S.A. In March, Vision Critical published a report called Sharing is the New Buying: How to Win in the Collaborative Economy. It co-authored the document with Crowd Companies, a San Francisco- based brand council whose founder, Jeremiah Owyang, guides big corporations through the new economic landscape. The backbone of this landmark study is a survey of more than 90,000 consumers in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Although the collaborative economy may have started out as the domain of environmentalists and hipsters who think sharing resources is the right thing to do, it's gone mainstream. Eighty million Americans and 10 million Canadians obtain goods and services from each other online or plan to do so soon, the report estimates, whether through a long-standing business like eBay Inc. or upstart car service Uber Technologies Inc. Up front Summer 2014 7 The leaders PETER HOLST

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