Sunday, May 13, 2012

Visit the Open Shed @openshed

"One of the 10 ideas that will change the world" - Collaborative Consumption - Time magazine

You probably know about some forms of collaborative consumption even if you haven't heard that term before. eBay? Quickflix? Flexicar?

We've mentioned a couple of efforts here before: foodswaps, Landshare and The Sharehood. Loads more examples and read much more about collaborative consumption here.

In essence, it's about reducing consumption and waste through sharing and swapping and moving things around from:

Those who have them but don't need them
Those who need them but don't have them

Collaborative Consumption Graphics by Rachel Botsman

The infographic above does it more justice than I have. It explains the various systems, principles and drivers.
Anyway, I've explained about this because there's a new and interesting enterprise that's worth a look.

It's called Open Shed.

They say themselves that it's "a virtual community, which allows for peer to peer renting and hiring of items between members".

Their website has all the info but it works like this:
  • Owners list stuff they have sitting around that others might need (or look at what others have said they want), 
  • Renters list what they need or find an item that's already listed that they'd like to rent.
  • Open Shed matches them up and they're both happy! The Owner got a little cash for the use of their "sitting around thing" and the Renter got the thing they needed without paying over the odds at a commercial hire shop or having to buy it for that occasional job.
There's a big focus on trust and safety which are likely to be the things people will wrestle with. 

To work though, it needs more owners and renters so get in there!

Do you occasionally need tools in the garden that you don't have and can't justify buying?
Have you looked at things you own and thought "I hardly use it but I still need it"?
What have you got that someone else might be able to use?
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