I’m screwed. This is going to be a disaster. I invited 5 people to dine at my apartment, as part of my experiment with the sharing economy, but I DON’T HAVE 5 CHAIRS. I don’t even have a dining table. I only have a 3-seat couch, two stools, a low center table and two office chairs. These is normally plenty for me and Rafael (husband), and for some ocasional friends that surf our couch and are more than willing to seat on the floor to eat at the center table.
But now I had the brilliant idea of hosting a DINNER FOR 5. And they are not my friends. They are strangers that will come to a Feastly dinner at my house. I say strangers in a good way. They are new people I’m really looking forward to meet and to please with my cooking. I can’t ask them to seat on the floor? Can I…? No, no way. When I went to Amanda’s feast, she properly seat us. Seven of us.
What was I thinking? Ya, right, the share experiment…. My experiment to live & breath the sharing economy. Now I’ll have to buy three new stools, so I can fit 5 people in my counter. At least I can accommodate 5 there. Ya, right… 60 dollars each at IKEA. And I don’t even have where to store them after this dinner. I don’t need to have five stools. I just need access to them for one night.
Wait, this is the SHARE experiment, not the BUY experiment. Where can I find someone to LOAN me 3 stools for one night?
The sharing economy of things
The sharing economy is being populated with platforms that allow access, free or charged, to things that you not necessarily need to own, like tools, furniture, sporting equipments, three extra stools etc. So, one thing lead to the other and the sharing of food lead me to the sharing of stuff.
Off to Yerdel! I’ve found out about them in the beginning of my research about the sharing economy via “The Future of Business Models” at SlideShare.
Bummer! Yerdel just migrated to a mobile-only platform. And is still not available for my Android Nexus.
Off to Nextdoor, that I learned about via the same source. Nextdoor is based on the proximity of neighbors. So, I registered with my current Emeryville address. The community is still small, only 123 neighbors registered. They ask me to invite new people, but being here for less then five months, I can’t help much. However, I soon learn that a Nextdoor can extend my search to 9 nearby neighbourhoods, allowing me to reach 1072 members. Sounds better. Around noon, I’ve posted my cry for help. To reinforce the power of my posting, I send direct notes to the community leads, three more engaged neighbors. After that, I spent several minutes going through the comments and links of Emeryviller’s. Sweet feeling of a small community.
Next, Craigslist. A couple of months ago, I found a short term apartment to rent through this simple yet powerful tool. I went checking the free stuff. No stools or chairs that I could really use 🙁 I decide to spread the word and post a listing of my need.
Oh, Nextdoor also have free items session. But nothing for me there, either.
Increasing my search, I find this very interesting video that discusses the sharing economy and it tells me about Snapgoods. I publish my need there. Differently from the other platforms that organize objects sharing, Snapgoods offers the possibility of people charging for lending goods. They also provide an insurance if something you lent is damaged.
Lastly, I found Neighborgoods. Due to it’s very low reach in California, I decide to not post there.
So, the dice are cast! Will the sharing economy of objects save my sharing economy dinner?
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