My husband fantasizes about driving a Lamborghini. A Chanel handbag is on my own wish list. With price tags starting at $200,000 and $2000 respectively, we don’t have realistic aspirations of buying either one. But with the rising popularity of services that offer access to shared resources, we can “rent” a luxury car hourly or daily from a service like Getaround and luxury bags are readily available at reasonable monthly rates at BagBorrowSteal.
Why own when you can rent something better? Welcome to the new sharing economy, where rent is truly the new own.
Fashion for rent
I am sure I’m not the only woman who wears an evening gown once or twice and then lets it sit in the closet unworn for years. Rent The Runway (RTR) launched in 2009 to help women expand their wardrobes in a budget-friendly way. It was founded by Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss and has raised $54.4 million from Conde Nast and various venture capital firms. Instead of buying a new dress and paying top dollar, RTR offers a selection of designer brands and new styles that can be rented for a quarter of the cost.
The end of storage wars
No need for a war thanks to the new service StowThat. For those with empty closets, sheds, and garages- you can now rent that space to neighbors in search of some additional storage. StowThat won a prize in a recent TechCrunch meetup so we can expect to hear more buzz about this great start-up company later this fall.
Share a car or just a ride
ZipCar, a car-sharing services that has been hugely successful in urban areas and college campuses, enables to access to a car rental for an hour or even a day without the hassles and high fees associated with traditional rental car services. ZipCar offers its own line of cars but other services have been popping up that offer access to rides only. RedRide aggregates data from car sharing services like Uber, Sidecar, and Lyft and presents which cars are closest and the cost of the ride. They call it a Kayak.com for ridersharing and we will probably see more cost comparison services like this in the near future.
The corner office: Yours for the day
Although the SAP Americas campus where I work has upwards of 2000 work areas, there is still a waiting list for desks. Many of my colleagues carry their personal technology with them each day and grab an available desk wherever they can find one. With the increasing size of the entrepreneurial and freelance workforce, it seems that “desks” are another commodity that can be shared for optimal utilization. Co-working, the sharing of workspace on the basis of a desire for community, offers both workers many of the benefits of an office environment – from office supplies and coffee to that invaluable exchange of ideas and inspiration that happens around the “water cooler.” No need to commit to the financial risk and burden of buying office space when you can “pay by the drink” for only the space and time you need.
What other goods or services do you anticipate we will be leveraging technology to “rent” or share in the future?
Get involved in the conversations on the Future of Business and read, watch and learn about how we must optimize our resources to reduce waste, protect our planet, and learn about the world around us.