In the latest installment of Collaboratively Speaking, Zimride co-founders John Zimmer and Logan Green chat with TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque about the role of community in peer-to-peer marketplaces. There’s a lot of great stuff in the interview, here are some highlights:
- Zimmer and Green share the story of their partnership and the origins of the Zimride mission — it’s a tale complete with long-distance romance, scary Greyhound busses, and a crash course on the history of transportation.
- Currently, the most popular destinations from the San Francisco Bay Area are Lake Tahoe and Los Angeles. Trips trend higher on the weekend, and the cost is substantially cheaper for the passenger ($35 per trip) than any other mode of transport — plus the driver makes good money (an average of $200 per trip).
- The Zimride guys have even seen people post open seats on airplanes. It may sound lavish, but the concept is the same: occupy as many seats as possible.
- Although there’s been a little pushback with the Facebook Connect feature, Zimmer and Green notice that the ability to view mutual friends has been a major contributor to community engagement.
- Zimride has found a lot of luck plugging into the existing communities on campuses around the country, and tapping into the existing excitement of destination events like music festivals.
- As for what’s next, Zimride is excited about reaching the critical mass it will take to plan real-time trips and launching more frequent routes across the country.
In this episode of Collaboratively Speaking, TaskRabbit Founder Leah Busque discusses trust and safety with Lauren Anderson, the Innovation Director of Collaborative Lab and Founder of Project Trust. During her work with Rachel Botsman and Collaborative Lab, Lauren was part of the initial push to connect founders of sharing-based companies around the world and provide a common vocabulary for the Collaborative Consumption space. As one of the early architects of the movement, she has a unique perspective on the challenges these companies face.
During her discussion with Leah, Lauren reflects on the roles the economic crisis, environmental issues, and the influx of social media tools played in the emergence of Collaborative Consumption. She also points out that the sharing economy is unseating a long tradition of direct-from-brand buying, with the community growing well beyond its initial base of early adopters. New users experience one fundamental barrier to entry: whether or not the person or company on the other end of the transaction can be trusted.
Lauren discusses the importance of a new user’s very first experience with any Collaborative Consumption company — it will inform his opinion on all other companies within the movement. Prioritizing a seamless user experience, appealing to user’s social selves, and providing an environment of trust and security are all part and parcel to making that first experience a great one.
She also shares the mission and methods of Project Trust, which she describes as a “PayPal for trust.” Project Trust is dedicated to bringing together businesses in the Collaborative Consumption space to create a best-in-class set of tools to assure safety and security across the board.
Not only does this discussion between Leah and Lauren mark the second installment of Collaboratively Speaking, it helps move forward a dialogue about trust that’s central to building a more collaborative future. After you watch, we hope you’ll add your voice to this important conversation.
Over the past year, there has been a rapid increase in the number of companies built on the concept of sharing. These companies are leveraging social networking, location and mobile technologies to create connections online that translate into meaningful connections offline. This movement is called Collaborative Consumption. It is disrupting business models in every industry, and fundamentally changing the way people consume. Consequently, peer-to-peer networking is quickly becoming the default method of exchange.
At TaskRabbit, we are so excited and passionate about Collaborative Consumption and are dedicated to enhancing the movement. Today, we are kicking off a new initiative called Collaboratively Speaking, a series of podcasts and videos produced by TaskRabbit for those interested in learning more about Collaborative Consumption, or Meshing as it is also referred to, and how it is disrupting commerce. In the series, I will be joined by founders, entrepreneurs, executives, journalists and consumers who are authorities on the movement and can help us understand what this emerging model means for the future of business.
Our first guest is my good friend, Shelby Clark, the founder of RelayRides. RelayRides is a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform that connects people who need a car with vehicle owners whose cars would otherwise just be sitting idle.
Shelby has unique insight about how the CollCons movement is changing the automobile industry. While the podcast is still in its final stages of approval with Apple, in the above video, you’ll learn how Shelby came to found RelayRides and what challenges he has faced and the lessons he has learned. You’ll also hear how Shelby’s startup has developed a partnership with auto giant, General Motors.
I hope you enjoy my chat with Shelby, and I look forward to having you stop by for our next episode of Collaboratively Speaking.