The Rise of the Sharing Economy
Collaborative consumption, peer-to-peer marketplaces, the sharing economy — it's been called a few names by now, but no one is denying that the idea of accessing rather than owning is controversial — and it's taking the Internet by storm. Peer-to-peer marketplaces, of which Airbnb is the beloved poster child, have been popping up for the past few years, but 2011 was an explosive year for the sector. Whether you wanted to borrow or rent someone's apartment, bike, car, parking spot or random household good, you could find a marketplace to do it. This is only the beginning, though; 2012 looks to be a promising year for those involved with the sharing economy. Super angel Ron Conway recently identified it as 2012's hot area for angel investment in The Economist. And Fast Company deemed 2012 the "year of peer-to-peer accommodations," thanks to the emergence of Airbnb clones that hinged off of the company's outstanding growth. It's All About Value Knodes and SnapGoods founder Ron J. Renting vs.