Author(s): Robin Chase
Carsten Olm had worked for the same Danish accounting firm for 18 years when he decided to see if he could make a little extra money by renting out the spare bedroom in his Copenhagen apartment to tourists. Two years later, Carsten owned two apartments with 12 rooms for rent and was busy enough to have hired a full-time employee. It was all made possible by the San Francisco-based Airbnb. Then there's Zipcar. By exploiting the fact that our cars stand idle for 95 percent of the time, Zipcar uses just 11,000 vehicles to satisfy the driving needs of one million people. Untapped, underused resources are all around us. Recognizing and finding ways to make use of them is the trick. Companies like Airbnb and Zipcar - and Etsy, Folksy and dozens more - are providing means to release excess capacity (your spare room, unused car, etc.), coupling this with a platform for people to buy, or rent, this resource. We can call this new business model 'Peers Incorporated'. And this book is the ultimate guide to how to succeed in this new exciting business world.
Robin Chase is the co-founder and first CEO of Zipcar. She is also co-founder of three other companies (Veniam, Buzzcar, and GoLoco). She was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World, a BusinessWeek Top Ten Designer, a Fast Company Champion of Innovation and has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, Today, Wired, Forbes, Inc and Newsweek. She lives in Cambridge, MA.