The Rise of the Sharing Economy

A special 3p series

The “sharing economy” describes a type of business built on the sharing of resources – allowing customers to access goods when needed. Think AirBnb or Zipcar. While sharing goods has always been a common practice among friends, family and neighbors, in recent years, the concept of sharing has moved from a community practice into a profitable business model. This increasing legitimacy is reflected in the more polished terms used to describe the phenomenon like peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, collaborative consumption or the access economy.

Some advocates wax philosophical that this emerging sharing economy has come about because society has collectively arrived at a more altruistic place in our evolution: We don’t all need to own drills or KitchenAid mixers – since most owners only get a few minutes of use out of them a year. Others simply attribute it to Clinton’s old adage, “it’s the economy, stupid,” with trying financial times forcing us to reevaluate the way we interact with one another and with the resources we have at hand. Whether it is a monetary or social paradigm shift, Time considers the access economy to be one of “10 Ideas That Will Change the World.” We agree.

Patagonia, Yerdle, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, b corp, Black Friday, social innovation, Leon Kaye

Patagonia’s Investment in Yerdle Shows Sharing Economy Maturing

Patagonia has announced an investment in Yerdle, a startup where users can use a smartphone app to give and receive things for free.

Interview: Jeremiah Owyang, Crowd Companies

Jeremiah Owyang talks about the collaborative economy - why it's important, why it's both a threat and an opportunity for traditional companies, and…

‘Netflix for Legos’ Is More Than Mere Child’s ‘Pley’ in the Sharing Economy

Toddlers and preschoolers exchanging toys through the sharing economy – no, it’s not a scene from Portlandia’s recent sketch spoofing collaborative consumption, but…

Yerdle’s Critics Miss the Point

Some critics say yerdle is a bait and switch that's waiting to charge you money. It's a half truth that misses the beneficial…
Airbnb's new HQ in the heart of the neighbourhood they're accused of gentrifying

Airbnb’s Hidden Challenge: Its Own Community

The Airbnb community itself erode the company's revenue by avoiding fees through “off-site” deals. But the motivation behind this could be transformed by…

Recap: A Conversation on the “Sharing Economy” with Neal Gorenflo and Nicco Mele

On January 29th, the Founder of TriplePundit, Nick Aster, led a live conversation with Neal Gorenflo (Founder of Shareable) and Nicco Mele (Founder…

FlightCar: Sharing Economy Takes Another Legal Hit

CarFlight customers love its sharing economy concept: Drop of your car before you get on the plane, and rent it out to others…

Sharing Economy Revolution Turns Violent in Paris: What Can We Learn?

The sharing economy is revolutionizing many industries. Taxis are taking it kicking and screaming. This isn't going to help them.

Ridesharing Can Save Cities from Traffic Congestion

In the United States, the average commuter loses 34 hours a year to congestion delays, according to Deloitte.
sharing_economy_Applus_IDIADA_iShare_El Monty

2013’s Best Sharing Economy Concepts

Critics said the sharing economy wouldn't last. Worse, many said it wouldn't make an impact. But 2013 was clearly a successful year for…
John Zimmer, CEO of Lyft, and Sunil Paul, CEO of Sidecar, celebrate CPUC ruling

Small Step for Ride Sharing, Big Step for the Sharing Economy

It’s official. As of yesterday, ride-sharing is legit. The State of California passed the first set of rules today to make it safer…

Does the Sharing Economy Really Have Catastrophic Impacts?

ConvergEx, a brokerage firm, warned its clients that the ripple effects the sharing economy could be "catastrophic." Is this really the case?
Enterprise, Enterprise Carsharing, IGO, Chicago, IGO carsharing, car sharing, carsharing, collaborative consumption, urbanization, mobility, Leon Kaye, sharing economy, rise of the sharing economy,

Enterprise Acquires Chicago Car Sharing Service IGO

On May 28, Enterprise Holdings announced that it had acquired Chicago-based IGO CarSharing under terms not disclosed to the public. So is carsharing…
rise of the sharing economy, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, ridesharing, public transportation, San Francisco, airport commission, SFO, San Francisco International Airport, InstaCab, Leon Kaye, cease and desist

SFO Slaps Cease and Desist Orders on Carsharing Services

Management at San Francisco International Airport has demanded carsharing services such as InstantCab cease and desist operations to SFO.
Tony Hsieh, Las Vegas, Project 100, rise of the sharing economy, sharing economy, carsharing, Tesla, Model S, collaborative consumption, Leon Kaye, EVs, bicycling, sin city

Tony Hsieh Bets on Tesla for Las Vegas Carsharing Program

Led by Tony Hsieh, Project 100 signed an agreement to include 100 Tesla Model S cars within this futuristic, “complete transportation system" in…

Airbnb and Apartment Scarcity

It would be impossible to argue that Airbnb has zero effect on available rental properties. The question is just how much of an…
Sharing Economy Law

The Care and Feeding of Your Sharing Economy Lawyer

If you're starting a sharing economy company, chances are good you'll eventually think "Is this legal?" Some tips on working with your new…

Are Big Businesses Next in Line for Crowdfunding?

Would you be surprised to see an expense line item showing up on Coca Cola’s or Nike’s P&L for a Kickstarter campaign? Following…
biz mtg

Sharing Economy Paves the Way for Collaboration

Our series on the sharing economy has illuminated a new industry, one that has forged professional relationships, brought people together, funded dreams, and…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with TrustCloud

Many of the companies that supported our Indiegogo campaign are active participants in the sharing economy and we wanted to hear more about…

Interview: Adam Werbach on Why Sharing is the New Shopping

Adam Werbach has déjà vu when discussing the sharing economy. It reminds him of talking about corporate sustainability in 2005 when people didn’t…

How We’re Applying the Sharing Economy to Education

Andrew Grauer, CEO of Course Hero applies the sharing economy to education through the knowledge marketplace.
sharing economy, rise of the sharing economy, collaborative consumption, shared services, access economy, airbnb, Forbes, The Economist, Tomio Geron, Leon Kaye, mainstream media

The Sharing Economy Hits the Mainstream Media, and That’s a Good Thing

Now leading news outlets are not only discussing the sharing economy: they are touting it, including Forbes and The Economist.
crowdfunding closed

SEC Holds Debt/Equity Crowdfunding Hostage

When President Obama signed the JOBS Act into law in April 2012, it was with the intent to break down the barriers for…

Crowdfunding: Striking a Balance between Investor Protection and Investor Freedom

Crowdfunding is redefining what it means to be an investor and disrupting the delicate balance between investor protections and investor freedoms.
Many Kickstarter projects, like this one are wildly successful in their concept. But what about those funded projects that don't make it to prototype?

When Kickstarter Investors Have Buyers Remorse

What do investors do when a Kickstarter project they've been rooting for (and invested good, hard money in to see succeed) doesn't make…

WeTeachMe: A New Way for Teachers to Share Knowledge

A new company based in Melbourne Australia wants to change the way that private instructors and students connect. With any luck, (and a…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a free service that connects a global community of more than 5.5 million members in 97,000 cities across the world. The…
customer parking

Four Customer Acquisition Strategies in the Sharing Economy

So you’ve built a sharing economy service. You’re ready to take it to market. But who should you start marketing it to first?…
I Will Give You An Advice

5 Entrepreneurs Share Advice on Making it in the Sharing Economy

Tri Tran of Munchery, Jennifer Lee of ClosetDash Shop, Kevin Clark of, Eddie Patzsch of Trablr and Tristan Pollock of Storefront share…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with ciValidator

ciValidator provides a set of solutions to help organizations manage compliance in their crowdfunding endeavors.

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with Munchery

Munchery, a marketplace for ordering home-delivered meals from local chefs, shares their impressions on the sharing economy.

Customer Acquisition in the Sharing Economy

How do we attract customers in the sharing economy? The answers shed an interesting light on just what makes collaborative consumption successful. Read…
shake hands

Sharing is the Rational Economic Choice

The barriers to a sustainable future are many and complex, and no single entity has all the answers. In a sharing society, organisations…

Is Sharing Illegal? In Many Cases, Yes.

The most poignant current-day example of the tug-of-war between government and technology entrepreneurs is the legal quagmire many “sharing,” or “collaborative consumption,” companies…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with Flat-Club

Flat-Club, a room sharing company for students, shares their impressions on the sharing economy.

How to Crowdfund Your Next Apartment

Real estate innovator Rodrigo Niño explains how he is creating new investment opportunities and more skyscrapers.
rise of the sharing economy, hotels, Marriott, LiquidSpace, collaborative consumption, shared workspace, Leon Kaye, Silicon Valley, co-working, co-working space, sharing economy, liquidspace marriott

LiquidSpace and Marriott Team Up for Instant Shared Workspace

LiquidSpace now parters with Marriott to give its members even more options to hold co-working sessions.
GetArtUp, rise of the sharing economy, Tyler Bewley, Leon Kaye, sharing economy, Tricia Rampe, Michael Baker, contemporary art, collaborative consumption, art, paintings

GetArtUp Makes Contemporary Art More Accessible

GetArtUp has developed a new business model to generate revenues for artists while allowing contemporary art to become more accessible and affordable.

Different by Design: Car Sharing vs. Car Rental

Peer-to-peer car sharing and car renting, at their core, are not the same. Car sharing is, by design, something different from the traditional…

RovAir Helps Business Travelers Share Mobile Hotspots

RovAir is a company that was in the sharing economy before there was a name for it...specializing in making valuable, under-utilized assets or…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with HUB Bay Area

HUB Bay Area, a co-working space sounds off on how they fit into the sharing economy.

The Sharing Economy Increases Economic Growth While Lowering Consumption

The relationship between the sharing economy and economic systems is potentially contentious. Can the sharing economy increase economic growth while lowering consumption, which…

Mealku: The Art of Appreciating Cuisine is in the Sharing

Mealku is New York's new cuisine-sharing cooperative. Co-founded by Ted D'Cruz-Young, it caters to those who can appreciate the art that goes into…
rise of the sharing economy, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, luxury, luxury goods, Leon Kaye, onefinestay, social flights, exotic car share, higear, Voyage Yacht Share, Exclusive Exchanges, tie society, refashioner, bag borrow or steal

Sharing Economy Increases Access to Luxury Goods

Now that luxury goods are available to the masses due to the rise of the sharing economy, the champagne life is possible .…
bike sharing

Instead of Sharing Economy, Let’s Call It “Resource Efficiency”

The "sharing economy" moniker is not entirely accurate. Sharing does not normally involve the exchange of cash.
park at my house

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with Park at my House

According to IBM, over 30 percent of traffic and car pollution in a large city is caused by drivers circling, looking for parking.…

Libraries Bet on Coworking Trend

Creative entrepreneurs are looking for ways to save money, connect with their communities and thrive in inspiring workspaces. Could this be the future…
Wheelz Unlock

An Inside Look at Wheelz

Wheelz’ innovative peer-to-peer (P2P) business model and their use of technology puts them right out at the cutting edge of the rapidly evolving…
Image courtesy of

Investing in Collaborative Consumption: Venture Funding in 2012

2012 was another big year for funding in the collaborative consumption space. What sectors received the most attention, and where will the hotspots…

Daimler Opens New Car2Go Service in Seattle

Mention the name Daimler, and most people think of Mercedes-Benz. Many wouldn’t equate the world’s most famous manufacturer of luxury cars with an…

Is the Sharing Economy Innately Sustainable?

There’s no doubt that sharing promotes collaborative exchange and that husbanding our natural resources is good for the environment, but will this trend…

Direct Public Offerings: Allowing the Community to Invest

A new alternative way of accessing capital is through Direct Public Offerings. A less traditional source of funding, a DPO allows businesses and…
San Francisco sushi chefs teach the Hub community how to make sushi.

Coworking at The HUB, Where Ideas Come to Meet

If it wasn't for coworking, creative ideas would be cooped up at home, missing the chance to intermingle with one another to create…
rise of the sharing economy, necktie sharing services, neckties, necktie sharing, TieTry, freshneck, netflix of neckties, Leon Kaye, sharing economy, David Powers, Scott Tindel, David Goldberg, fashion

Necktie Decisions Got You In Knots? Borrow Via a Sharing Service

FreshNeck and TieTry are among companies that allow subscribers to borrow ties by paying a monthly fee. You might learn a few new…

Spotlight on the Sharing Economy: Q&A with uSwapia

uSwapia shares their thoughts on the sharing economy.
SKEO project dovetails with sharing economy

Skeo Adds a Brick-and-Mortar Dimension to the Sharing Economy

Skeo's Walkable Watershed plan for the Bellemeade community in Richmond, Virginia shows how the sharing economy has the potential to dovetail with neighborhood…

Why ThredUP Shifted From a Peer-to-Peer Marketplace to an Online Consignment Store

ThredUP's latest change of its business model and the feedback it received led to it going from a great story to being a…
car sharing

Zipcar Sale a Watershed Moment? I Beg to Differ

Lee Broughton, of Enterprise Holdings, owner of Enterprise Rent-a-Car and other car rental companies, argues that Avis car rental's acquisition of Zipcar is…
Will this Zipcar soon boast an Avis logo?

The Avis Zipcar Acquisition: End of the Beginning for Carsharing

Zipcar’s mixed success raises questions about the future of carsharing and the sharing economy.  What lessons can be gleaned from Zipcar’s record?

Floow2 Turns Businesses into Sharing Economy Participants

Floow2 describes itself as “an online intermediary service that lowers cost while it increases sustainability.” The service provides improved return on investment to…
intentional community

Cohousing: Bringing the Sharing Economy Home

Cohousing is gaining popularity, with many communities in development around the U.S. In contrast to current neighborhoods that are "car-centered," cohousing developments like…
rise of the sharing economy, Ford, relayrides, general motors, GM, getaround, zipcar, avis, goget, silicon valley

Larger Corporate Presence Now the Reality in the Sharing Economy

The rise of the sharing economy, or collaborative consumption, means it has become far more mainstream, and therefore corporations are taking an interest.
Mosaic, rise of the sharing economy, sharing economy, solar, solar energy, clean energy, collaborative investment, Leon Kaye, Department of Energy, Spring Ventures, crowdfunding, youth employment partnership, Oakland, affordable housing

Mosaic Brings The Sharing Economy to Solar Energy Financing

Oakland-based Mosaic makes solar financing more accessible and affordable, and is a compelling example of the rise of the sharing economy.
Kakuuto Sacco

4 Lessons the Sharing Economy Can Learn From Microfinance

The similarities between microfinance and the sharing economy together with the differences in their maturity level provide a great opportunity for the sharing…
BJMAB touches down in Burlington, VT

Have Millennials Evolved from Buying to Sharing? Not Really.

Here’s a mantra you probably heard a lot in 2012: Millennials don’t shop that much these days. They share instead. But is it…

Launch of the TriplePundit Sharing Economy Series

It gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of The Rise of the Sharing Economy, our first crowdfunded article series and something…
Snow blower

Is the Sharing Economy an Opportunity or a Threat to Existing Businesses?

Does the sharing economy threaten businesses, or are there business opportunities to be had within this new model? The answer is: yes and…
The sharing economy is ripe for rapid growth.

Joining the Sharing Economy Has Never Been Easier

While companies like Airbnb and ParkatmyHouse have enjoyed steady growth, advocates of the sharing economy argue that the movement is not limited to…
A ZipCar Min Cooper in Manhattan

Avis Buys Zipcar for $500 Million

This morning Avis announced that it will acquire car-sharing leader Zipcar for about $500 million
California Public Utilities Commission, CPUC, ridesharing, sharing economy, collaborative consumption, lyft, Uber, sidecar, leon kaye, public transportation, taxi companies, san Francisco

California Utility Commission Takes Another Look at Ridesharing

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) released a proposal this week that could legitimize and give a shot in the arm to ridesharing…

We Did It!

Our crowdfunding campaign experiment paid off.
kids - popsicle

How Sharing Makes Life Better

Is working excessive hours to acquire more the key to happiness? Sharing is the way to connect with people in the community and…

A Brief Demonstration of the Sharing Economy in Action

Nick Aster goes undercover to show you how it works.
San Francisco Housing

Airbnb Claims $56M Contribution to San Francisco’s Economy

While it’s clear why Airbnb is glad to show a $56 million impact, it is less clear is if the study presents the…

FlightCar: Car-Sharing Comes to Airport Parking Lots

FlightCar combines peer-to peer-car sharing with centralized airport locations to facilitate exchanges.

Interview: CEO of on Partnership with Daimler

Last week Daimler made another step to deepen its involvement in the access economy by partnering and investing an undisclosed sum in the…

Top 10 Crowdfunding Sites

Up until now, it's been illegal for private businesses to offer equity to anyone other than accredited investors in exchange for funding. The…

Swap, Don’t Shop: 4 Entrepreneurs Share Lessons From the Access Economy

The access economy has been growing tremendously in the last couple of years, becoming maybe the only good thing that came out of…

RelayRides Accident Raises Concerns about Liabilities of Access Economy

A recent RelayRides car accident is bringing attention to some of the liability issues associated with sharing economy borrowing arrangements.