December 2, 2013
Why buy something when you can rent it, have it instantly delivered when you need it, and taken away when you’re done? While Amazon’s unveiling of its Prime Air drone-powered delivery service could make buying easier, it’s drone pick-up that could make it so we don’t need to buy things at all.
The sharing economy holds the promise of a more efficient, collaborative way of living. Startups like Airbnb and GetAround are thriving by making use of our empty apartments and parked cars. It’s proving feasible for humans to share housing and transportation, but we haven’t quite figured out the sharing of most objects. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is delivery and pickup.
A few startups like Neighborgoods have tried and failed to let you rent things from other normal people. Need a stud finder or hot glue gun? Don’t buy one and rarely use it. Instead, search in your town for someone who has what you need and rent it. Problem is, who wants to drive across town and back twice to scoop up a rental and drop it off when they’re done? Factor in the travel time plus gas and it might be easier/cheaper to just buy the object.