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I received this great comment from ZipCar’s Robin Chase on ZipCar Capitalism. Check it out and check out her blog.
“As Zipcar (and GoLoco.org) founder and former CEO, I totally agree. In fact, I’ve given a number of lectures over the last four months on this topic. I think of it as “consumption 2.0” or “collaborative consumption.”
And I believe we should push this paradigm farther yet, to start thinking about collaborative financing and collaborative infrastructure. While Zipcar is an excellent example of this (all members have access to a fleet of vehicles across a huge geography, that is “financed” by each member paying for a fraction of the fleet), my favorite example of this is mesh networking.
Imagine a world in which most wireless devices (the ez pass in your car, your pda or cellphone, your laptop) all serve as routers and repeaters of data. We would have a very low cost wireless infrastructure built on the back of individuals’ devices. We can build a wireless mobile internet this way — which much the same impact on economic development as the fixed internet. See my TED talk:
I’m about to post to my own blog on this topic. I see a deep fundamental economic need to start maximizing collaboration by identifying excess capacity — wherever it exists — and building platforms for engagement/cooperation with others. This is a mechanism by which we can maximize our return on investment and resources — a fundamental requirement for this world in which governments, companies, individuals, and the planet — need to make efficient use of what resources we have.”
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