Friday, October 29, 2010

What's Mine is Yours

This past summer I had the chance to meet Michela Abrams O'Connor, President of Dwell Media. During this visit she recommended a new book called "What's Mine is Yours - The Rise of Collaborative Consumption." I usually have a very difficult time reading business books, but this one I found very interesting and a page turner. Fundamentally, I really believe in many of the principles outlined in this book. The world would be such a better place if we learned to share more things that tend to have "idle" time.

For example, I really don't like owning my own lawn mower or sidewalk edger. I'd rather someone else take care of and do the maintenance, but I can use it as needed. However, maybe they can use our snowblower or ladder. I think this sort of collaboration has the ability to bring us into better community and it obviously is better for the environment to have less "stuff" out there. It is amazing the toll of "built-in obsolescence" has had on our environment and economy.

Book Description: (From Publisher's Weekly)
Business consultant Botsman and entrepreneur Rogers track the rise of a fascinating new consumer behavior they call "collaborative consumption." Driven by growing dissatisfaction with their role as robotic consumers manipulated by marketing, people are turning more and more to models of consumption that emphasize usefulness over ownership, community over selfishness, and sustainability over novelty. A number of new businesses have emerged to serve this new market, exploiting the ability of the Internet to create networks of shared interests and trust and to simplify the logistics of collective use. Businesses such as bike-sharing service BIXI; toy library BabyPlays; solar power service SolarCity; and the Clothing Exchange, a clothing swap service, help users enjoy products or services without the expense, maintenance hassle, and social isolation of individual ownership. Part cultural critique and part practical guide to the fledgling collaborative consumption market, the book provides a wealth of information for consumers looking to redefine their relationships with both the things they use and the communities they live in.

To recap:

Worth Reading? Yes

Recommend to a Friend? Yes

Worth Buying My Own Copy? Yes, if you plan to share it with someone, otherwise borrow a copy!

Stars: 5 out of 5

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