Collaborative Economy Industry News, Sep 3, 2014


Welcome, this industry newsletter shares key market changes, in a twice-monthly publication, curated by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder of Catalyst Companies™, you can subscribe to the email newsletter on the footer of the homepage.

Uber’s “Pre-Qualified” Recruiting Program
Some call it ingenious. Others call it inconsiderate. Still others may call it something else. Whatever you call it, Uber has discovered a new “best practice” to recruiting new drivers: Hitch a ride with a Lyft driver and recruit him. Although Lyft is among those who don’t care for the tactic, it is what companies have done to recruit talent for years. Companies desiring to expand are always looking for experienced people. In most cases, those experienced people are not always easy to find. One of the unintended consequences of the ride-sharing economy is that experienced potential employees are suddenly much easier to find. It will be an interesting item to follow. Read more.

Midwest Cities Adopt Ride-Sharing, Establishing Presence Nationwide
Ride-sharing in the U.S. has developed bi-coastally and is growing across the country much like the first transcontinental railway did in the late 1860s. That railway stimulated the building of cities. Now companies like Uber and Lyft are moving into and establishing themselves in those heartland cities. The people of Kansas City, in particular, seem to be rapidly embracing the app-based services. The City of Kansas City has opened its arms to Uber, but not so much with Lyft. It boils down to the difference in the how the two companies approach new markets. That substantial difference in approach is one that all similar sharing companies are going to have to consider, because it may ultimately determine the outcome of their entry into those markets. Read more.

San Francisco Car-Free Households Could Benefit Ride-Share Companies
The percentage of car-free households in San Francisco increased by almost three percentage points between 2000 and 2012, the fifth greatest increase in U.S. cities during that period. Over 31% of the families in San Francisco do not own their own vehicles. Whatever the root cause for that may be, the reality is that it is a boon for ride-sharing companies in the Collaborative Economy. Almost one-third of San Fransicans need some kind of alternative transportation to get from Point A to Point B. Public transportation has been able to fill some of the gaps, but it doesn’t always go where a person wants to go and, when it does, it often does not go there directly or at the time you want to go there. Read more.

Kickstarter and Maker Movement Produce Smallest 3D Pen
Some people should be able to remember when the first pen that could write while being held upside down in outer space was introduced in the 1960s. Now creative minds at British startup Lix have designed a 3D pen that does not require paper or any other substrate to write upon and has crowd-funded its development through a successful Kickstarter campaign that sought £30,000 and has raised £731,690. In the twinkling of an eye, the Maker Movement has propelled us from the realm of 3D printing in the conceivable, yet unbelievable, ability for anyone to create 3D objects, whether prototypical, functional or simply creative in the space in front of their eyes. Read more.

It’s the (Dispruptive) Economy, Stupid
If we may borrow from James Carville’s infamous campaign slogan for Bill Clinton, when we first began talking about the Collaborative Economy, we often used the word “disruptive.” We haven’t heard the term used quite so much lately, but, perhaps it is time to remind ourselves that any major ecoshift is going to cause disruption to the status quo. It seems like people have either forgotten about the pushback that results from disruption or that they have taken at face-value reports that peer-to-peer sharing is evil. There is a moral and ethical basis for the sharing economy, but just as in the traditional corporate environment, some people are more moral and ethical than others. The point is that the Collaborative Economy not only fills a void, it provides opportunities for both enterprise and convenience that did not heretofore exist. Read more.

Peer-to-Peer Lending Comes to Student Loans
It is common knowledge that student loans comprise one of the highest amounts of personal debt in the U.S., second only to mortgages. It only makes sense that peer-to-peer funding startups arise to address this critical need. Two companies, CommonBond and SoFi, are leading this sector of the sharing economy, following in the footsteps of entities like Lending Club or Prosper. SoFi, in particular focuses on connecting alumni to students attending their alma mater. Read more.


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