We're learning to share. Well, at least our entrepreneurs are. It's called collaborative consumption, and more and more small businesses and entrepreneurs are using this concept to launch their companies.
During the Age of Separation we shielded ourselves from strangers by reducing all access to goods and services to money. No personal economic relationships are important because we can always "pay someone else to do it" wrote Charles Eisenstein in the book Sacred Economics.
In contrast, the Age of Reunion that we are entering is all about sharing: sharing with friends, sharing with coworkers, sharing with neighbors, sharing with complete strangers, sharing for free, sharing with a payment, etc. but sharing is not without its risks as the Airbnb incidents exposed. Can I trust you?
"As the sharing economy grows, we must increase our awareness of how different populations interact with this burgeoning economy. Women, taken as a whole, are likely to use and experience sharing services differently than men, given the unique economic and safety issues they face. For many women, the risks are much different than they are for men."
For me [Sharon] the biggest factor in choosing an Airbnb host was that lots of other people had stayed there before. Any other women find themselves taking extra precaution?
Good Karma Clothing for Kids dropped the subscription aspect of its "like-new" kids clothing service, and changed its name to Moxie Jean: better kids' consignment made easy. Here's the backstory, told by the founder (also the editor of this ScoopIt topic)
"For time-starved customers, the new subscription services offer a convenient alternative to shopping while also sorting through the unending options that threaten to drive modern consumers insane." Features collaborative consumption startup Good Karma Clothing for Kids.
As a collaborative consumption entrepreneur myself, this insight on how to market to consumers is extremely helpful:
'That is not to say people are not community-minded and they don't value the glow of being part of something meaningful, but the 'do the green thing' message is not always the best way to get people in. ''Cost, convenience and choice are still massive decision drivers.'' Consumers will adopt green behaviours when they can see their actions having an effect, sustainability experts say.
Are you making money renting your apartment on Airbnb? You’re a Micro-Entrepreneur. As more and more services let people monetize their own assets and knowledge, it’s creating a new sector of the economy.
A growing number of investors and entrepreneurs are betting that a new breed of Craigslist 2.0 startups will create a massive new market for people to buy and sell labor, skills, and time amongst themselves
“If someone asked you for the three words that would sum up your reputation, what would you say?” Rachel Botsman asks us. “The answer to this question will become profoundly important in an age where reputation will become your most important asset.”
Read a summary of Rachel Botsman's TED talk for more.
"Design and user experience are absolutely critical in building a successful and distinctive Collaborative Consumption platform and strong community of early-ambassadors, yet it is often overlooked in favour of optimum functionality or speed-to-market.
"Here are my key takeaways (and insights shared by Jonathan Simmons from www.publiczone.co.uk on the topic) in figuring out what users want, and designing the right experience around it."
Grubwithus, the social dining network and 2011 Y Combinator grad, announced today that it has secured $5 million in new funding to snack on, led by GRP Partners with contribution from Lebanese entrepreneur Michel Daher
Russell was astounded by the cost of commercial storage space and so pondered the possibility of finding storage privately, perhaps a garage, spare bedroom or under a house. From his frustration a business was born.
In 2009, the pair, with one other partner, founded SpaceOut and currently have over 300 listings Australia wide.
Many Collaborative Consumption marketplaces depend on matching 'haves' with 'wants', whatever they maybe. So the first big issue to address is building a critical mass of inventory (users, products or services) on both the supply and demand sides of the equation. I am often asked, "Which side should I focus on first/most- supply or demand?" and 'How do I know when I have achieved the right level of critical mass for my marketplace to be effective?"
Here are some key learnings from successful two-sided marketplaces.
The terms “the sharing economy” and “collaborative consumption” are both used to describe a fascinating new economic and social phenomenon. They refer to markets for the sharing of products and services between individuals.
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