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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Unusual Things That You Can Rent In The Sharing Age – (Part 2)



Not so long ago we covered some of the unusual things that you can rent in the sharing economy. The sharing economy is definitely not a boring industry. We have now discovered even more unusual things that are possible to rent / borrow / swap in the sharing economy.
In our previous article, we introduced you to some of the odd services in the sharing economy and presented strange things that you can get in this modern era. We presume that some of the ideas inspired or even amused you to a point where you would like more. Therefore, we have decided to come up with a second list of unusual stuff that you can get through the sharing economy services out there. Here it goes:

Goats as Lawn mowers (US)

Do you remember how many vines were made with goats? Besides being viral animals, they can also be rented out. Instead of using machines and chemicals for your lawn or farm maintenance, it is better to rent an eco-friendly goat. Seriously, these animals are natural landscapers because they are eating harmful plants and weeds, which means that you do not need pesticides anymore. Moreover, kids and other animals can play safely on lawns sustained by goats.
So, if you feel like you could use a goat, a few different companies can help you out. Amazon has a goat renting service, or you can try Rent a Goat and We Rent Goats.

A Chicken (US)

Yes, that’s right, you can rent a chicken. If you are considering having chickens in your backyard, you can choose to have a try out period. Getting all the supplies you need for them will cost you more than 500 USD, and renting will only be around 90 USD. If you are tempted, you can get in touch with Rent the Chicken and Rent a Chicken. Additionally, you can also order non-GMO feed for a higher price, depending on your preferences. At the end of the rental period, you can either buy the chickens or return them. As funny as it may seem, this idea supports a sustainable environment.

Pet Sitter (US and DK)

Are you planning on travelling and you are worried about your furry friend(s)? On DogVacay and Dogley you can find a caring home for your dog during your vacation. Through this platform you can also hire dog walkers and house sitters.  

A Safe Ride for Drunk College Students (US)

Driving and drinking is a very dangerous practice among youngsters, being the cause of many accidents and deaths. However, Sobrio’s mission is to reduce this practice by connecting educational institutions with their students through ride sharing. All you have to do is to find a ride from one of the designated drivers by entering your location, destination, and number of passengers. The request will be automatically sent to all the drivers from your school and you will receive a notification when you get an offer. The service is completely safe and it was launched in 2012 by college students. Since then, driving and drinking rates among teenagers decreased by 40%. Well done!

Someone Else’s clothes (DK and DE)

Do you need to go to a party and the budget is too tight to afford an expensive dress? If you live in Denmark, you can easily rent a dress with Closay, a platform that connects you with other women from your area in just one click.
Do you always like to change your clothing style but it will often cost you a lot of money? Do you also get stuck with clothes that you don’t like anymore? If you are from Germany, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Myonbelle is a service that sells clothes through a membership acquisition. It allows you to create your own virtual closet from the clothes available on their website. Accordingly, you can choose a style that you want to wear and the company will send you the entire outfit. When you don’t want it anymore, you can just send it back and order another set. If it happens to fall in love with some clothes, you can also buy them to a special membership price. Amazing, right?

Someone to Shop for You Abroad (Anywhere)

Do you recall how many times you wished to get again something that you bought in a different country? What would you say if I told you that the sharing economy can make your wish come true? You can get your favorite things no matter where you are, from anywhere in the world. All you have to do is go on Carrywithyou or Entrusters, connect with a traveler and he/she will deliver your products safely to your destination. Pure awesomeness!

Other People’s Toilet (US and SWE)

No, this is not a joke! If you are in a situation when you really need to use the restroom, all you have to do is install an app, find people who live nearby and rent their toilets. In US, AirPnP started as a joke until the founder of the company realized that there is actually a demand for this service on the market. It became such a sensation that now the business is requested to collaborate with the UN for helping to supply bathrooms in poor countries. Apparently, Sweden followed the example by launching Rentl. This is mind blowing!

Unusual Things That You Can Rent In The Sharing Age – (Part 1)


The sharing economy can be a strange place sometimes! Whatever you may need, the industry will somehow make it happen for you. You can rent anything, from fake funeral mourners and bridesmaids to Christmas trees and friends.
In the sharing economy renting different things from each other has become a normality. The internet is responsible for the rise of the sharing economy, providing easier methods for various peer-to-peer transactions. Therefore, beside the usual things that you can rent from the sharing economy, we have prepared a list of unusual stuff that you might want to check out. Some of them are funny and some are quite odd. Here it goes:

Fake Funeral Mourners (UK)

That’s right, you can request “professional, discreet people to attend funerals and wakes” in case you lack attendance to the memorial of a loved one. We know it sounds creepy but this could be a useful service if the person who died was new to an area or was not very popular. Anyhow, the platform is called Rent-a-Mourner and the service is only available in UK. For 45 GBP per hour, the fake mourners can be rented to cry and pretend they have known or even loved the deceased person. If you wonder where the inspiration comes from, China seems to be the answer.

Bridesmaids (US)

Is your wedding coming up pretty soon and the only thing you need is a professional to take care of all the details? Then Bridesmaid for Hire is the place to go. The service will cost you between 1000 USD and 2000 USD, depending how needy you are.

Professional Wingman or Woman (US)

Not very good with dates? Don’t long-term relationship seem to work for you? Now you have the chance to borrow The Professional Wingman. He/she will teach you all the tricks and manners, in order to get what you want. We don’t know about you but we can’t help but think of a Kevin Hart movie and this one with Will Smith. Maybe the inspiration comes from one of them?

A Friend (US)

As the team behind this concept states on their website, “if you want to do something fun and don’t want to do it alone, you can rent someone to do it with you (…). The site’s intentions are to be used only as a means for platonic companionship if you’re new to the area, don’t have any friends who like to hang out with you for free, or all your current friends are boring and you’re looking to try something new (I may have paraphrased).”
Yes, we find it awkward too, but if you want to find out more, you can go to Rent A Friend.

Crowds (US)

If you are preparing for a protest, rally, a flash-mob, a paparazzi event or a PR stunt, Crowds On Demand is at your service. According to the company, the politicians are using this service too.

A Real Christmas Tree (US)

Want to go eco-friendly this Christmas? You can rent a potted Christmas tree during the month of December and return it afterwards. Thereby, you don’t need to sacrifice nature’s resources for the sake of tradition. This is a well thought idea, but for now it’s only available in California.

A Local Party Guide (UK)

Do you want to party like a local wherever you go? Check out Zoola Fix, a community marketplace that connects local partygoers (called Fixers) with guests seeking authentic nightlife experiences. Pretty cool, right? The platform connects people around the world, so next time when you are planning a crazy party in an exotic city, a Fixer will be there for you.

Someone’s Backyard for Camping (FR)

If you are scheduling a camping adventure in France, you might want to consider HomeCamper. It’s a platform that connects you with locals willing to rent out their backyard to you. Instead of going to designated camping places, you can choose to meet new people and embrace an authentic experience in the romantic heart of Europe.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The FTC Report and its Upshot on the Sharing Economy

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched a report about issues facing platforms, participants and regulators, that directly concerns the sharing economy. Besides the inevitable truth of a more reliable safety within the industry, the commission suggested a solution to outcome the future undesired effects, through user rating and review services.


Over the last years, the avant-garde development of peer-to-peer platforms, such as Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb, have been competing with the traditional business sectors such as for-hire transportation and short-term lodging. Not only that, these platforms came along with huge advantages for consumers and suppliers. They also enthused extensive discussions about the possible need of regulatory measures, in order to protect consumers, promote public safety, and meet other legitimate governmental goals.
The controversial aspect of regulations within the sharing economy draws on the financial impact that might affect the incentives for innovation in the future. The result of higher costs and lower potential returns can affect new entries and customers’ benefits from new products and service offerings.
As peer-to-peer companies are developing mainly through technology, they do not quite fit into the regulatory framework of their respective industries. Highly regulated businesses are expected to compete with services that do not comply with the same level of protocols. This indicates the need of regulators to develop new methods of approaching these new industries.

THERE IS A SOLUTION

The solution the FTC suggested was that if some sort of “trust mechanisms” are going to be implemented by the sharing economy platforms, then the need for consumer protection and safety regulations will be significantly reduced. If peer-to-peer companies could auto-regulate themselves through identity and reputation management, many bad actors will vanish from the system.
The good news is that many companies already try to ensure safety and trust through, i.e. rating system, which allows them to eliminate people that are rated poorly. The ride-sharing platforms are also initiating checks on the driver’s background, criminal record, and license.
This is where deemly comes in – it allows users of the sharing economy to verify themselves through social media, sms, and email. Furthermore, users are able to aggregate their ratings and reviews from multiple platforms into one score. Thereby, deemly enables users to create a full reputation and trustworthiness profile that they can refer to in all online transactions.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Multisensory Museum Experience

Recently I was astonished by a Van Gogh exhibition in Russia, where with a very talented ballerina and some projections the organizers achieved to offer visitors a spectacular multisensory experience.

First, I thought that they displayed big pictures with parts from the paintings but with a little bit of research and curiosity I found out that what they used is a technology called SENSORY4. Now you may wonder how does it work.

Well, the SENSORY4 exhibition experience innovates beyond traditional forms of engaging an audience; it uses sound and video in a whole new media format. It is driven by a suite of powerful computers, a bespoke software system that controls up to 40 high definition projectors and a digital surround sound system using 10km of cabling. And this is not all! Regarded as one of the most exciting multi-projection systems in the world, the SENSORY4 system projects huge crystal clear images onto an array of screen geometry configured to the given space.

This discovery changed completely my traditional thinking about art exhibitions. For me art had to be original, it had to made me feel the touch of the artist´s hand, mind and spirit on the painting that was displayed in front of my eyes in order to be able to perceive it as alive. So, technology didn´t have it´s place in my little bubble world.
But after seeing Vang Gogh Alive exhibitions I had a revelation: living in a digital world, art has the possibility to travel through technology. It is no longer limited, it is there and it is more alive than ever. It is upgraded to another level as ArtTech (how I like to call it), moving around the world for everyone to see it, feel it, hear it and touch it.
 
Nowadays, people are seeking more and more for unique experiences, for something that will stop them for a second from their rocketing life pursuit and take them in a journey of discovery.
 
I believe that through a technology like SENSORY4 or even a similar one museums can become more entertaining and educative than ever. And if we are extending more our minds and creativity, businesses can be more successful and places more visited.
If after reading this I made you a little bit more curious you can have a look on: http://www.grandeexhibitions.com/traveling-exhibitions/van-gogh-alive/ .
 
 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The season of transition

Once upon a november, all the beings and unbeings on the planet used to talk. Only once a year, on the 26th of November a magic rain, from the sky, was falling, bringing everything to life. The phenommen was completed when humans truly opened their hearts and minds to the transition.
The legend tells that the magic day was in fact the 5th season of the year, where the notion of time didn't exist anymore, was the moment when all the energies in the Universe were connected to awake the humans. "Remembering" was the only key to get in the 4th season, the winter. Those who didn't succeed were trapped between past and future until they found the true meaning of the present.
People who found the "remembering" key discovered who they really were. All their failures, disapointments, material loses and frustations meant nothing anymore. It was time for change and gratitude. It was the chance to stop living illusions and realize that they didn't have enough life in them to be miserable and sad. They were given the years of life to love, to laugh, to appreciate every moment with their loved ones, to not hate but forgive, to not expect but to offer, to not wait but to act, to not give up but to fight.
26th of November was the magic day when we remembered the meaning of winter. Everything is in there, us as children, the smell of home, the taste of mum's food and her power of taking every pain away and giving us so much love that we couldn't imagine how such a small person can handle so much.
Today is my 5th season when I realize how lucky and greatful I am for my life and how much love I can feel for every person that sticked into my life and never stoped to believe in me. I can't wait for the winter to come, to go home and be a dreaming little girl again underneath a family cozy roof.

Hey, don't stop now, keep remembering!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hard decisions


Today, I am on a train... I didn`t want to be here, but I had to take a hard decision. And I`m telling you, it was so damn difficult! I had to say goodbye earlier than I planed to two special and very loved souls in my life: my dad and my best friend. Soon I will do the same thing with my mom. When I come back just for a while to my old life it`s not so easy to let it go again, the emotions and the moments that I experience with the loved ones can never be taken from me, never replaced. Time and distance are not stronger than our bond.

Whatever we do, we can`t change our destiny and I realized that when I did sacrifices, new doors opened in front of me. When I left to Denmark one year ago, it was the first time when I had to live alone in a foreign country and learn to survive by myself. It wasn`t easy at all, I was so unhappy and so scared, almost lost. After that I decided to leave my boyfriend that I had at that time and I moved in with a stranger. It was the best thing that I could have done because now, after almost one year I am in a happy relationship with an amazing guy that loves me,he is always there for me and he helped me to build myself again and to be more fulfilled than I ever was. I risked everything at that time but today I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Some days ago I did the same thing, I decided to not spend my summer in Romania, to cancel the plain ticket that I had for August and to return to Denmark. I saw how much my parents are struggling to help me to live and study there. I want to call them at the end of July and tell them: "I found a job, you don`t need to send me money anymore".
When we take decisions we are always scared about "unknown grounds", they make us feel insecure, so we have the tendency to choose them because of their comfort.It`s wrong!Even if on a long term the "known grounds" are the safest ones and show certainty they will not be the ones that will get us out from our comfort zone. We need to feel pain, to experience frustrations in order to realize what is best for us to do. Nothing in life is hazard, if we open our eyes wide we will be exactly where we need to be at the perfect time. Be patient, be courageous, follow your intuition and take every failure or pain as an opportunity and then... doors or windows that you never imagined they exist will appear in front of you.

Theodore Roosevelt said: “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
These words inspire me to be a warrior of my own war because in the end I know I will be the hero of my life.

TED Talk: How to make hard choices



Thursday, June 26, 2014

One of those days

You know those days when you have nothing to do, the weather isn`t friendly, everyone is busy and you don`t have any mood for doing anything but think and...think. I don`t know about your thoughts but mine are screaming really loudly in my head. It`s that day when not even music can distract my mind, working is not productive and socializing is just so boring today. It`s so hilarious and real; I woke up late, I carried my zombie body in the kitchen, I drank half of my morning coffee, I smoked two cigarettes, I checked Facebook with no lack of interest but just as a stupid daily routine and after that I went outside and play with my father`s dog, hoping that we can kill each other`s loneliness. With some playing and a bit fresh air I  became "the walking creature". Where to go? To the store and buy some cigarettes, a perfect excuse to take a walk. I didn`t come to Romania, my home country for six months and after twelve days since I am here I can`t get used to so much speed, so many people, so many cars and so much noise. I was walking but I had the feeling that is just an impression of moving my legs in comparison with the city`s speed. Finally I got to the store where I waited five minutes, the lady was busy talking to her husband about their schedule for tonight and about how angry she is because her boss brought too many Philip Morris packs instead of bringing Marlboro. I was patient all this time, I was looking at her the entire time hoping that she will notice me. She was so upset and worried, not even a smile on her face or a spark in her eyes. She was so empty that after those five minutes she wasn`t a human anymore for me, she was just a living box. The lady noticed me, thank God and she told me: "Say!". "What a customer service is this?", I was wondering. And I continued in my head: "Poor box! When did you lose your manners?". I bought what I needed and I took the way back home.
The coffee is cold, I can`t drink it anymore, the weather is mean, I can feel the storm is coming but I don`t know when. The window is open in the kitchen and I can feel the wind to my ears, I can hear dogs barking and cars moving far away, a frog is upset somewhere in the garden and my thoughts are everywhere.
This is the day when I refuse doing anything, but making serious plans and taking decisions to please my consciousness, but doesn`t want to stop. I am not a box or a worried creature, but today I feel that everything is evil, my mind is punishing me for some reason and I think I know why: I miss so many things...but so many things have changed.
But tell me, do you recognize this day?