Somethings Do Not Need To Be Uberified

26 Aug 2013

I was reading the article, Uber for Everything. The idea is that if you have a drill (or whatever) you aren’t using, you can rent it out to nearby people and make a little coin. In addition to that some middle man can shave a few percent off the transaction and get rich. What could be better?

Some of the stuff in the article make no sense. The first example is a drill that costs $22. It would probably cost 1/4 that just to transport it over. Then you have the middleman’s cut, then you have whatever money the owner is going to make. Probably not a good candidate for a marketplace.

Another example is Dinner set for 12 people on a friday night. A much better candidate, but who wants to rent out their dinner set to strangers? Presumably you like your plates (because you bought them). If one plate gets broke while your friends are over, you can excuse that, because you probably like your friends too. But if a person renting the plates from you breaks a plate whatever amount of money you get in compensation is not going to make up for the fact that you now have an incomplete set.

I think a better fit for this problem a community driven co-op. Where the government seeds a new organization with a $100k. This would allow them to buy a few of every item they want to rent out. Community members could pay a small monthly fee to be a member of the co-op. In addition to the fee if they broke anything they would be liable for paying to replace it (based on depreciation values). The monthly fee would go to running the staff and essentially replacing items and adding new items as needed. It would work similarly to a library, If you check out dishes on friday, you have to bring them back clean on saturday so your neighbors can use them.

I just can’t see a world where we need to create a marketplace for everyday things. That said, I also don’t want to have a hammer or drill in my house, so someone get on this co-op idea.

Did you enjoy this post?

Hey, you should follow me. Some people find me delightful 😉

I also am available for iOS and general software consulting, here