For Rent: The “Sharing” Economy—at a Price

The term “shared economy” has surged to the level of “innovation” and “disruption” as a buzzword of the moment in progressive business jargon. A more accurate description, if less catchy, would be the “rental” economy. After all, Uber, Airbnb, Snapgoods, TaskRabbit, Lending Club, and other such startups offer goods and services rented out for a fee. The practice does imply a considerable amount of trust among those willing to offer their personal homes, cars, and other goods for use by strangers, however vetted. This trust seems to be rooted in social media, where “friends” are people who know each other, but just a little. Come to think of it, the sharing economy is based on innovative, disruptive technology and business models. What’s being defined by all these terms is a fundamental business strategy of the 21st century.

John Howell, Editorial Director

News & Blogs

3 hours 3 min ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Last week, Justmeans reported on the news that Etsy, the online seller of artisan goods, a business that aims to balance profits with a social mission, was valued at $1.78 billion, after launching an IPO this month on NASDAQ. Shares closed at $30 dollars, almost twice their initial price of $16.

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(3BL Media/Justmeans) – While many brides are preparing for their big day, there are some weddings that should not be going ahead, and that’s child marriages. No girl should be robbed of her childhood, education, health and aspirations, yet millions are denied their rights each year when they are married as child brides. Now a 13 year-old girl in India has written a letter begging her head teacher to save her from becoming a child bride, putting this issue in the spotlight.

3 days 14 hours ago

Guest Blog by Bill Shireman and Kellen Klein, Future 500

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3 days 17 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Why cycle to work? There are several good reasons​ to embrace two-wheeled transportation​. For one, it is healthy: aerobic exercise is good for the heart and it improves our resistance and overall fitness. Second, streets are jammed! Fewer cars on the road means less stress and more room to move.

3 days 21 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - James Hansen came to Rochester, NY to give the keynote address at the Sierra Club’s Annual Forum. The title of his talk was “Climate Change and Energy: How Can Young People Take Ownership of Their Future?” It was the culmination of several talks he had given while in town.

Not surprisingly, Hansen began by talking about how last year was the warmest on record and how based on the data recorded so far, this year is well on its way to being warmer. He described the many sources of data corroborating the phenomenon like...

4 days 20 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Like many consumers, I worry about what happens to the clothes I buy when ​I wear them out or just get tired of them​​​. Granted, we can donate them to second hand shops, or even pass them down to family members who enjoy a bit of vintage style. But more opportunities for recycling and reusing of garments and footwear are opening up as fashion retailers set up schemes to collect used goods and push them in a green direction.

5 days 3 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – While the literacy rate among girls is getting better gradually in India, the gender gap still continues. When it comes to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, girls are significantly underrepresented in most parts of the country.