The Sharing Age

It’s the modern Golden Age. Collaborative economy has left the press in a buzz. From the Economist to the Wired, the sharing economy has taken front page. Why are people looking to share, and how long will the trends persevere?

As Adam Grant says,

Adam Grant – author of Give and Take

we as people are enthusiastic to give when we feel we can advance the interest of others, as well as the interests of ourselves. [Give and take]

The collaborative industry impacts a continuously expanding pool of classical sectors; from cryptocurrencies and durable goods to entrepreneurial funding and services. The ideology that a privately owned resource can not only shared, but highly demanded in the market is the bread and butter of the collaborative economy. Yet this begs the question; why is such an efficient methodology only just now starting to be realized?

Consider TaskRabbit, an online marketplace founded in 2008 that allows users to outsource small jobs and tasks to others in their neighborhood. People have been vacuuming long before the first computer,so just what is it that makes TaskRabbit worthy of $37.5 million dollars in funding? Technologically induced convenience is turning the impossible into reality, and consumers are eager to make their everyday lives easier.

Technology start-ups like TaskRabbit are developing algorithms that reevaluate what can be feasibly done.Trends have shown that people are opting to trade pre-owned goods rather than purchase them new.Tech has revolutionized olden concepts such as bartering, augmenting their strengths and weaknesses to fit in the modern era. Websites like Freecycle, Threadflip and Craigslist have already constructed from scratch massive networks of active users. As Jeremiah Owyang shared in his blog:

Ten years ago, we forecasted that social media would be disruptive to corporations. It was, but mainly to marketing functions, customer care, and corporate communications functions. Fast forward to today, using these technologies and mobile apps, we’re seeing the rise of people getting what they need from each other: They’re sharing homes, cars, rides, money, goods, and their time.

This Collaborative Economy is forcing companies to rethink the relationship they have with their customers as the crowd is starting to become a competitor. Brands have already begun partnering with sharing economy startups. Let’s Collaborate event on Nov 5th in New York held a shared work space & events platform for a global community of entrepreneurs, activists, artists, and professionals who believe in the power of business to accelerate social and environmental change. Companies like Let’s Collaborate are already leading the charge in promoting growth in sharing economy start-ups.

Get out of jail freeOne thing clear is that the collaborative and or crowd based economy progresses on and large corporations are fixing their business models to adjust to this peer-to-peer economy.Wastegate is a seed in this promising new economic era. However it must constantly push the envelope of what is possible with crowd collaboration, exploring new territory where sharing has yet to be imagined in. But for the first time anyone interested can contribute to its success through countless crowd-funding platforms.

Let us know what you would like to see shared in the comments below. It can be products, services, dinosaurs, the only thing holding you back is your imagination!

 

-Jimmy and WasteGate Staff

What Do We Value?

We all have things that we value; for some it’s old photos, and for others its teddy bears from our childhoods. Sometimes values fluctuate with time, however, whether in economic standards or our own sentimental feelings.

For me, movie tickets have always been highly valuable. I’ve collected and saved all the movie tickets that I’ve bought since high school; to me they aren’t just pieces of paper: they’re memories of good times with good friends, the same friends who have left the city for school. Although to some this may seem strange, it’s a way for me to reminisce and feel nostalgia.

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Of course, this goes to show just how “value” can be subjective. Every item has value, though it may vary in different eyes. As a swapping system, WasteGate can thus help people find the things that they find valuable while ridding themselves of what they see no value in.

WasteGate has another more important purpose, however: preserving the natural value of our environment. Between mountainous landfills across the globe and literal islands of trash choking the oceans, the Earth’s environment is in grave danger. Thankfully, countless people around the world, especially of our millennial generation, are willing to fight for the planet, as shown by the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st. WasteGate seeks to help protect the environment, as well, but on a deeper level than many of the march’s supporters.

With the major waste crisis of today, reuse and recycling of goods is a small but vital step in the right direction. WasteGate has internalized the principles of waste reduction by seeking to reuse and repurpose whatever possible, at the same time echoing the timeless saying that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. So it truly acts as a double-edged sword: items are prevented from becoming waste, and people can always find the things that they value in life.

-Calvin and WasteGate Staff

Moving Places

It is often said that the average person moves approximately 3 to 4 times over the course of their life. These are not just small shifts, either, but major changes in location and in lifestyle. If anyone were qualified to really discuss what it’s like to move, they would probably be like me.

At the young age of ten, my family packed up their life and decided to move from one side of the world to the other: Sri Lanka to New Jersey. Sure, it was quite a distance and distract change, but that wasn’t the only move my family has made; just a few years ago we moved again, this time only across town. Though it may look easy, it’s absolutely not. Furniture, clothes, shoes, and everything you own has to move; not to mention you’re forced to change parts of your life!

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Photos like this are what make moving appear easy and fun: people smiling as they carry a seemingly weightless piece of furniture up stairs. In reality when you move the luggage and furniture is never light. Not to mention it could be a hot summer day and you’ll find yourself sweating, or maybe it’s the dead of winter and you’re bundled up tight.

That’s why it’s common practice for most people to leave their furniture and other goods behind; thinking it valueless many leave their furniture on the sidewalk to be taken for free. What most people don’t realize is that even most used furniture as a value. If people simply chose to swap their used furniture on WasteGate, they could end up with goods they may want for their new home! At the same time, people who still live in the area can improve their homes with “new” furniture. It’s a win-win for everyone, and another way that WasteGate can make life easy while engaging in good social and environmental practices.

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff

WasteGate and the City

New York City produces approximately 12 tons of trash a day, and that’s only accounting for residential and not commercial waste. I can’t even begin to imagine what that amount looks like; one nightmarish vision is of Central Park’s Sheep Meadow covered entirely in trash bags. It’d be extremely unpleasant to play a friendly game of Frisbee or sunbathe amidst heaping mounds of rotting, stinking garbage. However, something tells me a majority of this “trash” isn’t rotting food and used tissues, but reusable or recyclable goods that people want to get rid of.

I can relate to the need. I went through a very dramatic experience trying to sell my sofa bed on Craigslist. I found myself constantly being forced to reduce the price every hour until my posting eventual became “FREE SOFA BED PLEASE PLEASE TAKE IT AWAY”. I even found myself posting angry rants about the sofa on my Facebook page. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that dramatic but it felt so at the time.

Eventually, my neighborhood bar friends helped me carry it out and deposit it on the curb like a good New Yorker (thank you bartenders of defunct bar on Allen and Houston). Don’t get me wrong, I love Craigslist, but the people of New York need a better option for getting rid of their junk, possibly even exchanging their junk with others. If you feel the same way, be sure to check out WasteGate, a free service that lets you swap your unwanted goods for other users’ items.

WasteGate is currently in beta testing; visit http://www.wastegateapp.com or email info@wastegateapp.com to test drive the site!

-Paulina and WasteGate Staff

Keeping Up with the Shoe Trends

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We all know that shoes are an integral part of a woman’s outfit: they can make the dressed down outfit a little more fancy and vice versa. So when it comes to inventory style, I prefer having a variety of shoes to choose from every season; that means at least ten boots and heels in the fall and more in the winter. You probably could have guessed that I like my shoes.

Further more, the type of shoe that’s appropriate at any given time changes with the seasons. I may love the flip-flops currently on my feet, but they’ll be useless and out of style come September. I’ll have to trade in my flip-flops for flats or sneakers that have a little more warmth and protection.

Even worse, the trendiness of shoes, whether they’re flats or boots, is constantly changing. Style is ever evolving, so it seems logical to exchange last season’s boots for this season’s model. Unfortunately, we all know how expensive shoes can be. Just the other day while browsing for a new pair of boots, I noticed that Steve Madden’s prices range from $80 to $180. That’s far too high a price for anyone living on a budget.

Taking a step back and looking at things in the grand scheme really shows just how expensive it can become. Shoes only last so long, and money also needs to be spent on the clothes and accessories. Keeping up a wardrobe throughout the year really can become a financial burden. That’s why WasteGate can become an important asset to any fashonista. Remember those combat boots that you bought last fall but no longer wear? WasteGate makes it easy to swap them with another user for a pair of shoes you could use. It’s just another example of how one person’s trash is another’s treasure.

-Vinoli and WasteGate Staff