Collaborative Consumption

Uber wants to be the Vegas of gay weddings, only even faster


In their frantic desire to be first with the next big thing and to grab market share by any means necessary, tech companies often act before really thinking through the implications of their ideas. And with its latest idea — facilitating on-the-spot weddings during Pride weekend — rideshare company Uber has finally jumped the shark.Read more »

Into thin air

"Shareable housing" is causing apartments to vanish from SF's rental market — yet popular, profitable sites like Airbnb violate local laws


By Steven T. Jones and Parker Yesko

Airbnb is an audacious corporation, particularly in San Francisco, the city where it's headquartered and where its business model works best. This city is tech-savvy and popular with tourists, but hotels here are expensive, while rent-controlled apartments are still affordable, creating a strong incentive to rent those rooms at a profit through Airbnb.Read more »

The hype, reality, and accountability of collaborative consumption


Collaborative consumption, aka the shareable economy – the labels given to a new generation of Internet-based companies that facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges of goods and services – certainly has some positive attributes. But does it really live up to the overhyped claims of its biggest boosters, who evangelize it as a “revolution” that forever alters the economy in only positive ways? Read more »

What's ours?

A brief exchange with Collaborative Lab's Lauren Anderson


The term "collaborative consumption" was coined way back in 1978, but the 2010 book What's Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Ron Rogers is credited with popularizing the idea, mostly in a tech industry context. The book raises some interesting questions — Botsman's insights into how exposing more of ourselves online actually builds trust rather than depletes it are especially revelatory, and the library-like digital tracking system set up to trace the book itself as it's lent, borrowed, or swapped is pretty rad. Read more »

Bank your time

In the face of economic collapse, Bay Area Community Exchange turns labor into cash-free currency


The economy had collapsed. Mira Luna became ill with Lyme disease, lost her job, and then gotten buried under a mountain of medical bills. She went into bankruptcy. But it wasn't more money she longed for — it was community.

That's how Luna got into the time business.Read more »

The problem with the sharing economy

Airbnb seemed so simple — but collaborative consumption can raise complex issues


Catbird turned me onto Airbnb almost two years ago, long before I'd ever heard of the "sharing economy" or "collaborative consumption," terms the tech industry is now using for companies that facilitate peer-to-peer rentals or otherwise take transactions once done through Craigslist to a glitzy new commercial level.Read more »