The Trust Economy And Collaborative Consumption

wealthymattersWhen I first heard of and of people going abroad and sleeping on a strangers’ couches.I was amazed. It’s hard to say who I thought was more mad – the people who chose this stay option abroad or the person who’s sofa this was; ”What? For free? How safe was this? Then there were the horror stories……… but so many people manage just fine and have a great time in a new city with a fantastic host. Then it dawned on me that rather than this being a horrific idea, it could actually be something fun, exciting and groundbreaking. Maybe the idea of trusting strangers has its place.,,,,,,

Couchsurfing allows people who are looking for a place to stay to get in touch with people who have places to stay. Easy. But Couchsurfing is more than just about looking for a place to stay – people ask for rides, others to accompany them to gigs, museums or just to hang out! What it’s really about is making connections.

This is just one example of how the trust economy is building online across a number of different community platforms. People are giving utter trust – of their homes, their cars, and their belongings to complete strangers. , where you rent people’s spare rooms/sofas is so popular its spread to so many places round the world. In these cash strapped times, more and more people are making use of their space, for a bit of cash and just as importantly, for a bit of company.

People are sharing with strangers more and more and you can see why…The average car, for example sits idle roughly 22 hours a day – so that’s where car sharing companies such as Zip car and car pooling sites come in. When zip car took the keys away from 250 people, they lost an impressive 187kgs between them from increased exercise, but more importantly nearly half didn’t actually want their car keys back as they found that sharing cars was actually more liberating than ownership. It’s not surprising then to find that over 30 million car rides have been shared across online communities.

Though the sites that are really striking are the ones where no money actually exchanges hands. Couchsurfing , again, or which puts people who have a spare bit of land in touch with those who want to grow things and the guardianhomeexchange which allows you to stay in strangers’ homes in return for them staying in yours. The most radical, however has to be Peerby, the Dutch site – which encourages people to ask their neighbours to borrow items. Their motto is ‘Save money, live green and meet awesome people’. They’ve taken the idea of popping round to your neighbours for a cup of sugar that little bit further… Need a lawnmower? See who’s got one in your area? A ladder? Or a drill (which on average is used 13 minutes in its lifespan)? The Peerby crowd can help… When you think how many of us own these items, it puts a whole new perspective on the need for us to actually own things.So how about some Collaborative Consumption?How about doing our bit to reduce consumption,go green ,save money and unlock the full use value of our possessions?Lets start sharing!

But how do you know who to trust? Well of course there are going to always be the bad eggs, but like on Ebay and other online sites, reputation is everything. People can of course, steal, cheat, lie and not return things, but the beauty of all of these communities is that they are open – users will feedback on behaviour and rate others. So any bad behaviour is quickly unmasked though if you do really want extra peace of mind, sites like Peerby enable you to insure your items.

About Keerthika Singaravel

2 Responses to The Trust Economy And Collaborative Consumption

  1. Alex Jones says:

    These are all excellent business ideas and pools resources of benefit to all.

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