I’ve posted before about the new phenomenon of “collaborative consumption” and how we’re increasingly becoming more of a “rental economy,” where people can now rent just about anything they need from somebody else: their bathroom, their couch for an overnight stay, designer neckties (and bow ties and cufflinks), their driveway, their private automobiles, their toys, their clothing/costumes/maternity clothing/accessories/jewelry, party/event equipment, fine art, household items and tools (vacuum cleaners, iPads, tents, printers) etc. and the list goes on and on….
There’s now a Collaborative Consumption Hub website, and a book titled “What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption,” so it’s a trend that seems to be growing in popularity and gaining momentum.
A Wall Street Journal article today features five new services that are being offered in what’s being called the new ”share economy.”
1. The web-based company EatFeastly “connects hungry eaters with passionate cooks,
offering authentic meals prepared and served in a cook’s home,” and is currently available in Washington DC, San Francisco and New York City. The WSJ article highlighted a “mac attack” dinner with three flavors of macaroni and cheese: garlic-crusted, goat cheese tomato, and curried, recently offered for $19.80 per person in a private Washington, D.C. home.
2. Did you get some lousy holiday presents? Well, you can re-gift/exchange them at Yerdle.com, which describes itself as “a magical place where people share things with friends,” and claims that “sharing is more fun than shopping.”
3. MamaBake.com is a “movement of group of big-batch baking mothers. Mothers come together regularly in their local neighborhoods and cook one big batch meal each. At the end of the session the big batch meal is divided up amongst each mother who then goes home with a range of freshly cooked meals for the week.”
4. Need a new dress? Try 99dresses Inc., an online marketplace where you can buy/sell/exchange clothing and “gain access to an infinite closet and you’ll never have to wear the same thing twice.”
5. Not ready for the commitment of being a full-time dog owner? Want to borrow a “temporary dog” and get paid for it? At DogVacay.com you can board a dog in your home and get paid for it.
When Greg Beato reviewed the book “What’s Mine is Yours” for Reason Magazine in 2011 (“Pimp Your Ride: Why own what you can rent? And why not rent out what you own?“), he made the following insightful comment:
“Just a few years ago, President George W. Bush was still touting “the ownership society” as the surest path to prosperity and personal autonomy. But that was before we could easily search our cellphones for the nearest power drills, sedans, and spacious Manhattan closets for rent. What we really want, sharing evangelists suggest, is access, not ownership. And when we can use the mobile Web to pinpoint sharable goods, the burdens of ownership—which include maintenance, storage, and eventual disposal—begin to outweigh the benefits in many cases.”
Bottom Line: For those who want “access” and not ownership, the new “collaborative consumption” and “rental/share economy” movement is sure opening up lots and lots of new possibilities, and it’s just getting started. A March 2011 Time Magazine article identified collaborative consumption as one of the “Ten ideas that will change the world.”
HT: Sprewell, who suggested a collaborative food sharing service in a comment on CD in 2011!