Making sharing irresistible

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The "Mesh" describes businesses and organizations that share stuff, fueled in part by the mobile web & social networks. Mesh lifestyles and businesses embrace a world in which access to things trumps owning them. In my book, The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing, I talk about dozens of these new outfits, and why they are growing at such a prodigious rate. There are a couple of thousand more at www.meshing.it.

Well-known examples include car & bike sharing, (Zipcar , B Cycle & GetAround) and vacation home-sharing services. (AirBnB & VRBO). But there are lots of more surprising ideas brought to market -- fashion & craft exchanges, tools libraries, p2p energy, co-working, rooftop farming, p2p money lending, technology driven by sharing, and support for the arts. Mesh companies leverage billions of dollars of investment in tech and physical infrastructure, and are relatively inexpensive to start and run.

For many people, the Mesh will provide opportunities to generate extra income (through "meshing" your possessions on sites that help with all the details), and to save money by only accessing goods and services only when you need them, rather than aspiring to own one of everything. In the next decade, I predict, this model will conspicuously shape how we think about our lives and work and will shake-up the buy-and-throw-away economy. (hint: it already has) By re-using, repairing, and recycling goods, the Mesh also makes sense as the global population zooms toward 9 billion persons.

Meshing It