(Rakka/Flickr)

Online peer-to-peer marketplaces allow users to share everything from cars, apartments and parking spots to kids’ clothes, fruit and even leftovers. These websites are part of a booming “share economy” that is changing the way participants think about ownership and community. We talk with the founders of some share sites. What have you shared, and what are you willing to share?

Guests:
Lisa Gansky, author of "The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing" and founder of Mesh Labs
Jessica Scorpio, co-founder of Getaround, a peer-to-peer car sharing company
Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, a peer-to-peer errand service
Joe Zadeh, head of products and innovation for Airbnb, a global network of places to stay offered by locals

  • Gerald Fnord

    Property, beyond what Franklin characterised as the “Savage’s crude hut, waistcoat, and matchlock” is an human and a social creation—that is to say, ‘property rights’, (rather, ‘the rights of persons to claim and to use property’) are a form of social technology.

    Any form of technology has a limit as to where and how well it will work; these are largely conditioned by other technologies and circumstances.  Aluminium foil would have been priceless little more than a century back (before the cryolite process), and now it’s the acme of disposability.  Using violence or its threat to ensure your access to a roll of aluminium foil—and property rights are nothing but the State’s using violence and its threat, or giving you permission to do so—would make sense a back then, but not now.

    Just a long-winded way of saying that we’re in danger of retaining entire and unchanged a property rights system that will no longer make sense, simply because those who have a lot of property under the current system greatly enjoy having more than the rest of us—and some of them swoon with ecstasy at the prospect of there being many with almost none at all, easily bossed and bullied and preached-to….

  • Rufus

    I’ve long been an advocate of Freecycle, which lets people give things away and obtain items for free, however there is usually a strict separation between giver and taker except during the moment of transfer, and there is supposed to be no way the taker can harm the giver. With this Getaround service I think I would be very wary of giving my car to someone else to use. If they wrecked it, I’d be S.O.L. Why put myself at risk?

    • Bob Fry

       Freecycle is great…I use it a lot.

      • William

        I’ve gotten two laptops and a bicycle via Freecycle, and given away computer parts, futon, etc. That reminds me, I have a bunch more stuff to give.

        • Mita

          Why Freecycle when there’s Palcycle! Check this service out at palcycle.com.

    • guest

      I agree about the car sharing thing. The owner of the car is liable for damages even if they are not driving.

  • Bob Fry

    I hope you talk a bit about home sharing, for vacationers…

  • William

    These Taskrabbit people are insane. I’m not going to give over my SS#, have a background check, etc etc just so that I can do somebody’s laundry for $5.

    • Erika

       We are not insane.  Wouldn’t you like to know we are not criminals, if let’s say we are coming to your house to organize your closet, help you move, or being a party assistant.  And I get more than $5 to do someone’s laundry.

      • wda

        Plus doing someone else’s laundry can be self-fullfilling in so many other non-monetary ways.

  • wda

    TaskRabbit = Rent-a-Slave.

    • William

      Even moreso when their server inevitably gets hacked.
      They put naive consumers at risk so they can make a few bucks.

  • William

    How is Airbnb any different from the couchsurfing.org website?

  • wda

    Three thousand people are Task Rabbits Nationwide.  Ha ha. 

  • wda

    Callers gushing about these services were all hired on TaskRabbit to call in and promote these services.

  • Erika

    Hi there, I am a level 21 Taskrabbit.  It has been a great help financially, filling in when I am not busy with my small business.  It has almost always been a great experience, the only bad tasks, have been when the task poster was unrealistic about time.  And the BEST task I have ever seen, Make a fancy tuxedo for my rubber chicken.  Thanks for this show.

  • Michaelhstevenson

    I’m listening live right now, but have to get back to work. How can I download a copy of today’s broadcast?

    • wda

      Hire a Taskrabbit to do it for you.

  • $11165038

    Not sure about the sharing a car thing. I would be concerned about the liability of letting someone drive my car. What happens if there is an accident? It counts against the registered owner of the car not the one who happens to be driving it at the time. 

    • wda

      Yeah, I want to rent out my car in SF to someone that drives a car once a month.

  • Deb Sanfilippo

    My husband and I own a Kid to Kid store in Santa Clara where people sell us their gently used baby equipment, toys an all sizes of kid’s clothes.  We then sell it at very low prices.  Part of why we wanted to start this business (it’s a franchise) was the sharing/recycling aspect of it.  Great show!  Thanks!

  • stone

    Anyone representing ‘the oldest profession’ offering tasks yet?
    Any crimes reported?

    • wda

      I want to hire a Taskrabbit to lick my boots.

  • Dave

    So, could someone please stop that Airbnb guy from using the word “so,” four times in every sentence!

  • wda

    There we go.  Getaround is getting public grants.  I was wondering how they could pay their bills.

  • wda

    Hurray!  The Mayor’s office in London wants Taskrabbit.

    This business may actually have legs, as no one knows servitude better than the British.

  • Kaaren

    I think everyone using a share site has the keep in mind that anywhere money changes hands, thieves will find a way to hack in and rip people off. We, as users, don’t really know that a given site is secure. Last week I inquired about an apartment to rent through the VRBO website, and that message was hijacked. My inquiry was answered by scammers who took my payment for the place and the rightful owners never knew. Yet VRBO is doing nothing to help me recover the money. Don’t assume a transaction is secure, or that the owners of a website will support you if things get ugly. A word to the wise for everyone!

  • Latned

    I tried to use the airbnb thing when I needed a hotel room. However, all of the potential contacts flaked out on me even when their places were listed as available. Additionally there are unpredictability, unprofessionlism, and other unknowns. Then there is the awkwardness of having stay at someone else’s place. I’d rather pay more to for a professional hotel service where I have some recourse in the event there are problems. airbnb is at best a fad. Not worth it.

  • They forgot to mention @gigboard:twitter which will be launching soon! It’s going to be in competition with TaskRabbit. Sign up to be notified when we launch. There will be no required background checks…

  • Odile Beniflah

    Great program and good to see people react 😉

  • Peter Prozell

    There is a student services marketplace that has recently launched http://www.flipgigs.com  which is worth checking out. They are in Private Beta and are looking to build a community of students with special skills and services and the consumer and business community around them can benefit from these services and save on cost. Goes to prove that student talent does not have bow down to experience. I think it’s great to see websites like Taskrabbit, Zaarly and other sites spring up and I think each one has it’s own pitch and comes with its own twist. Collaborative Sharing is definitely in

  • Ali

    Re time banks and local currencies in the Bay Area, check out Bay Area Community Exchange: http://timebank.sfbace.org/ and http://bernalbucks.org/. Also, hour world is building a national network of time banks: http://hourworld.org/.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor