Influence people

Friday, October 15, 2010

Steal This Book

"Neither a borrower nor a lender be," Shakespeare wrote.  But Billy never needed a Zipcar when he wanted to escape London for the weekend.
  
Internet entrepreneur Lisa Gansky has written an insightful new book, The Mesh, which reveals the inner workings of scores of bleeding-edge businesses that have in common one key fact: they derive their unique selling proposition from a "share platform."

While the concept of sharing dates from the time of the Cro-Magnons, the Web has made it possible for 21st Century consumers to lease commodities on a grand scale.  Everything from artworks to apartments, books to boats, cars to clothing.  Even cats and dogs. 

Supplanting old-school "buyer/seller/own-it" businesses, Gansky says, "a new model is starting to take root and grow, one in which consumers have more choices, more tools, more information, and more power to guide those choices.  I call this emerging model 'The Mesh'." 

Mesh businesses (or what we used to call "rental companies"), Gansky says, are based on "network-enabled sharingon access rather than ownership."

Sounds like a Commie plot to me.

But it's pure capitalism.  Clever Mesh businesses, after perfecting a foundational service, boost their revenues through a blend of partnerships and affinity programs.

Zipcar, for example, offers customers not only car-sharing, but hotel rooms, restaurant reservations, foods, wines, fitness centers, event tickets and access to a host of other goods and services.

The Mesh is eye-opening and provocative.  Borrowdon't buya copy today.

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