The Sharing Economy: P2P Everything

Robin Chase, Founder & CEO, Buzzcar, Zipcar and GoLoco. People only ‘consume’ cars for an hour or two at a time. The idea is to ‘right-size’ the car economy. Unlike typical rental car companies, Zipcar trusts its users and thinks of them as collaborators.

Take a company like Skype. They are using your stuff. Your internet connection and your computer. They too are taking advantage of the sharing economy.

When launching Zipcar, Robin discovered that people hate the word sharing. This is changing. Airbnb had more rooms available 4 years after its launch than all of the Hilton Hotels chain.

There is a new partnership developing between individuals and companies. Between the local and the global. She calls it Peers Incorporated. Companies create a platform that delivers economies of scale that individuals can use to their advantage. By using the platform, the individuals enable the company to have rapid growth.

She mentioned a really cool startup I hadn’t heard of before called Fiverr, a marketplace for $5 services.

One key is to let people take advantage of excess capacity. Zipcar and Airbnb are examples of this. She said smartphones are an example too. The apps on these phones use the extra capacity of the phone and return extra revenue to companies by letting people fill them up.

Her new company, Buzzcar, lets individuals rent their cars. It also enables them to be creative in how they represent themselves and market their cars.

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