Business Book Reviews & Scenes, Featured News

Roadtesting: The Sharing Economy and The Mesh

August 15, 2012

Considering the rise of collaborative consumption in Australia (or the sharing economy as it otherwise known), it was time to take a look at the Mesh by Lisa Gansky. Here is what I gained from reading it.

the mesh book by lisa gansky

Trust:

Anything to do with community, trust is fundamental. Trust is a social currency too and the best way to build it is through hyper-social activity. The more social people feel, the more likely they are to connect and the more connection they make, the more trust will follow. The more trust, the more will want to join the community and so on.

How do you build trust in a sharing economy?

  • Be reliable
  • Be dependable and consistent in your messaging
  • Make good on your promises
  • Pay attention
  • Delight your customers
  • Value transparency but protect privacy
  • Go deep with your social media
  • Deal with negativity and don’t hide it away
  • Remember that people have learnt to evaluate products and brands so respect their evaluations and use it as a chance to gain feedback

Sharing economy and sharing principles:

If sharing is your core business ethos, you need to be constantly alert to your customers changing needs and evolving responses to your product.

It’s fine to have a baseline expectation of sharing things amongst members, but you need to keep adding levels and more reasons for people to “think outside the box” of their initial sharing experience to keep a flow going.

Things you can do to foster connection:

  • Greet new members personally and make them feel the love
  • Have a suggestion box
  • Make the interactions feel special so your customers will tell their friends
  • When you make a mistake, rather than worry about it, see it as another opportunity to get it right
  • Use try-vertising as it allows people to make their initial investment on their own terms
  • Always respect privacy

 

Niche Creation:

This is especially true of the collaborative consumption and sharing economy space but helps across a lot of sectors-

  • Niches are quickly identified and filled, so move quickly
  • Be resilient and adaptive. You may find what you try to do is disrupted, but use this change to find a new way to grow
  • Waste from other products is food for you. It’s the by-products and gaps that help define the niches available
  • Protecting what you have by restricting how it develops and who can play with it will screw you up

I read a lot on marketing and product management so a lot of what was in the book wasn’t necessarily news to me personally.

BUT- anyone who is looking at collaborative consumption, sharing economy and community connection as a mainstay for a product should really check this book out.

Luckily, you can rent it here via Open Shed.

Have you read it? What did you think?

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