Zipcar

The sharing economy: 40+ peer-to-peer start-ups

Peer-to-peer services are starting to mess things up for real.

Which industries are next to be disrupted by the sharing economy? Will we cease to ‘own stuff’?

Whether you’ve only just heard about Airbnb, or are actively sharing your pride and joy via RelayRides, this is a disruptive business model that is expanding every quarter.

As Rachel Botsman eloquently puts it, many are learning to

  • Trust in strangers.
  • Value access over ownership.
  • Value experiences over owning stuff.

If you want hard numbers, Forbes magazine has estimated total revenues across the sharing and P2P companies could reach $3.5bn by 2014, with growth exceeding 25%.

So, here’s a decent sized list of companies focused on collaborative consumption, along with some warning shots, or notes of opposition from more traditional quarters. Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom, you’ll realise just how many of these companies there are.

Seven truths for designing great customer experiences

Call it delight, caring, innovation or service, some companies set themselves apart by earning the durable preference of their customers.

If your view is that “life is too short for standard results” then here is what I’ve learned from business leaders who know how to earn the involvement and loyalty of great customers.

These loved firms grow faster, maintain stronger margins, and navigate downturns better than those firms with customer relationships based on toleration and transaction. And, it turns out, there are patterns to how companies become loved.

Zipcar funds P2P version of its own car-lending service

Collaborative consumption is due to hit SXSW with a bang (expect it to be one of the biggest developing trends) – and it’s continuing to influence the business models of many new start-ups in the digital space.

Today however, there’s news of an example that ropes in another trend we’re seeing develop – socially enhanced automotive apps and offerings.