Formula For Success In The Sharing Economy

Investors are starting to take notice of the ever growing sharing economy. With a consumer peer market worth $26 billion that continues to develop the sharing economy has some serious potential. This week Raj Kapoor of TechCrunch gave us a comprehensive review of what a sharing economy start up needs to succeed. 

It seems like there are new start ups daily, especially within the shared economy. Kapoor points out that, like in other businesses, those who do best are usually scratching an itch that consumers haven't been able to reach.  

Sharing economy models work great when there is a high degree of consumer pain. As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” In a lot of markets, consumers are happy with the status quo, and it will be hard to get user adoption.

Kapoor believes that is why ridesharing and fitness have done exceptionally well:

For ridesharing and fitness, the consumer pain is more obvious. Until Uber and Lyft, it was impossible to hail a taxi in most cities, a huge pain to force drivers to accept your credit card, and an all-around unpleasant experience in the car.

When you look at the fitness industry, it’s generating $75 billion each year on gym fees, yet 60 percent of people who belong to gyms don’t even go and our nation’s growing obesity and inactivity problem are evidence the solution isn’t working. Lyft and fitmob hack these pain points by creating an experience that is fun, accessible with the push of a button, and affordable giving consumers clear benefits that are lacking in traditional services.

Kapoor also cautions start ups to be aware of the watchful regulatory eye, currently challenging the sharing economy daily. Lyft, Uber and Airbnb are a few of the many sharing platforms that are constantly under fire for violating the law. Kapoor wisely recommends that you should work hand in hand with the government to create a win-win for all parties. 

To see what else is needed for your sharing economy start up needs to be successful, check out the full TechCrunch article and let us know what you think.

The Government [Finally] Takes Advantage of the Collaborative Economy

In light of the recent pivotal controversy involving government interaction in the shared economy, a new ecosystem has arrived, specifically focused on sharing government resources. MuniRent is a platform that makes it very easy for local governments to lease heavy duty equipment to other governments. Based out of Ann Arbor Michigan, MunitRent is one of few peer-to-peer platforms among businesses.

The site gives municipalities access to hundreds of pieces of equipment available with photos, machine specifications, and locations.  "There are early adopters who are excited about the sharing economy coming to the government level," says CEO Alan Mond. "Our vision is to be the hub for collaborative government."

The potential for both parties is cost. MuniRent claims that renters can give equipment up to 70% cheaper than on the open market, and the renting municipality can use the cash to offset equipment upkeep. 

FastCoExist's Ben Schiller spoke with CEO Alan Mond who reckons that governments are more likely to share than businesses, because, aside from political differences, they don't compete. "If you have two construction companies, one of them may not want to rent a crane to the other one. Governments are all trying to do sewer maintenance on reduced budgets. They're not competing. They just happen to be in different jurisdictions," he says.

It's incredible to see the government get involved in the collaborative economy to save the taxpayer dollar. We'd be interested to see if they'll continue this onto other services as well, and if their involvement will cause them to alter current views on sharing economy policy.

Check out the full article on MuniRent in FastCoExist and let us know what you think. Where else could the government benefit from sharing economy platforms?

Shareconomy Kickstarter

We are pleased to announce that the Shareconomy Kickstarter went live this week. This project has been an exciting chapter of our lives are we are so close to completion. We invite you to check out the Shareconomy Kickstarter page and let us know what you think.

Shareconomy examines the sharing economy through the eyes of those who know it best. The film features interviews from academics and experts studying the movement, government officials tasked with regulating this new economy, and those individuals using sharing platforms to enrich and empower their lives. Many working within the sharing economy embody the micro-entrepreneurial spirit, a model for the 'new worker' in this 'new economy'. Through these characters, we will discover the complexities of the sharing economy and its current and potential impact on our society. Shareconomy explores both the pros and cons of this economic movement, questioning whether this 'new economy' will transform the way we work, live, and interact with each other forever. 

Through this film we have an opportunity to spark a global conversation on this economic movement while still in its primary development. Economists and academics have predicted that this new sector could have the biggest impact on society since the Industrial Revolution. Globally, sharing economy companies are worth nearly $500 billion and are disrupting major established industries and challenging governmental regulations. We hope this film can provide a macro-level view of the sharing economy movement and an honest discussion about the pros and cons.

The film is about halfway through production and we need your help to finish it. Those familiar with the sharing economy will understand why we utilized crowd-funding to help us complete funding. A film based on the economic impact of the sharing society wouldn't be right if we didn't partner with our audience. Our goal is to raise $115,000 by July 4th, 2014. We've come up with some unique rewards for every level donation, all with the sharing economy in mind (including crashing at the Director's house for a night). 

Please take a moment to check out our Kickstarter page and view the extended trailer. We are so grateful for any contribution you can make, including spreading the word to family, friends and colleagues. 

Thank you so much for all your support. Let's make this movie happen!