In the third episode of BBMG’s Green Room, chief creative officer Mitch Baranowski chats with SnapGoods co-founder and CEO Ron J. Williams to discuss the company’s contribution to the growing “access economy,” in which consumers participate in both the supply and demand sides of commerce.
SnapGoods allows users to exchange, lend or borrow goods from each other. In addition to providing an exchange network, Williams says the year-old company fosters cooperation between community members while allowing consumers to test-drive products before committing to buying them.
But he adds, “I’ll tell you a secret: The goods are secondary to our system. It’s about facilitating human connections. We’re not saying ‘share because you have to.’ We’re saying share because of the relationships you form. There’s karma in the system. As you build karma, it comes back to you.”
Williams insists that although the access economy revolves around the consumer, traditional retailers and suppliers still play an integral role in the process and can participate in a way that’s beneficial to their bottom line. And he offers advice for aspiring social entrepreneurs: “Somebody’s already working on your idea. If you’re the person who can pull it along, get your butt in gear; don’t spend six months on crafting the perfect idea.”
“The SnapGoods consumer is very much a New Consumer,” says Baranowski. “It was exciting to talk with Ron about a shift we’ve been tracking over the last few years, from an ownership mindset to one of collaborative consumption—which is, of course, easier on the wallet and better for the environment. We believe the ‘access economy’ will create opportunities for innovative, more sustainable business models.”
Filmed at BBMG’s studio in DUMBO, Brooklyn, and hosted in partnership with Triple Pundit, new episodes of The Green Room debut every two weeks. Next up: Summer Rayne Oakes, co-founder of Source4Style, a global resource for designers interested in ethically sourced, sustainable materials.