Peers Inc | Robin Chase

Summary of: Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism
By: Robin Chase


Welcome to the fascinating world of sharing economies and peer platforms, as explored in Robin Chase’s ‘Peers Inc.’ In this summary, we’ll delve into the innovative concept of excess capacity, which encourages societies to share resources beyond traditional ownership. You’ll discover how the sharing economy can result in a more sustainable future and promote efficiency, while learning about business models that harness the power of collaboration. Take the journey with us as we examine successful applications of these concepts in companies like Zipcar, Uber, and Airbnb, and find out how they transform and impact the global economy.

The Power of Sharing

The sharing and collaborative business model that relies on excess capacity is transforming the way we think about ownership. Why waste resources and money on something you don’t need all the time? The benefits are best seen in car ownership, with traffic and toxic emissions plaguing most cities. Zipcar’s platform allows for easy sharing among friends and strangers alike. The key to success is identifying excess capacity and providing efficient technology for sharing. It’s time to share to care and boost our economy.

Platform Growth: Slow and Steady

When launching a new platform, it’s essential to slowly expand the number of users over time. Standardization, simplicity, and trial and error are necessary to find the perfect balance and ensure high quality. You’ll encounter “power players” who exploit your service and change your established rules for their gain. Establish new rules to prevent these players from taking over and harming the goal of your service.

Crowdfunding, private funding, or public funding?

In getting your project off the ground, crowdfunding may seem daunting, but one of the three significant ways to raise funds, alongside private and public funding. Private funding means prioritizing shareholders, which can be at odds with your platform goals and rob you of decision-making power. Public funding is ideal for basic utilities like GPS and wifi, so if your platform can be viewed similarly, it makes sense to seek it out. Crowdfunding can be an excellent way to retain control of your platform because you don’t need to give out equity to funders. Kickstarter, for example, allowed Caroline Woolard to launch Trade School, covering most of her costs with crowdfunding.

The Role of Government in Peer Platforms

The US government played a significant role in the development of peer platforms through the history of GPS. Originally created to deter nuclear attacks, the government allowed anyone to use GPS in response to a tragedy caused by the lack of GPS navigation. Strict governmental regulation, on the other hand, can also lead to the rise of alternative and attractive options such as Uber. The next part will discuss how big companies can influence the sharing economy.

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