I remember thinking that timesharing and resource sharing would eventually hit every industry back in the mid to late 1980s when I was responsible for new product development at Hallmark. It was a trend that I thought would explode due to the more efficient sharing of resources. Back then, timesharing mostly applied to vacation rentals. Since then, RCI, Wyndham Worldwide's vacation timeshare exchange network has been one of my clients. But consider the categories and brands in which timesharing and resource sharing now operate:
- Home rental - Airbnb, VRBO and numerous other brands. I use ADKbyOwner.com to rent my Adirondack home when I am not using it.
- Home exchange (aka house swapping) - Love Swap Rental
- Couch surfing - Couchsurfing
- Motor vehicle sharing - Zipcar, GetAround, Enterprise CarShare and others
- Ridesharing - Über, Lyft, Sidecar
- Car subscriptions (allowing one to drive a selection of cars for a monthly fee) - Clutch, Carma Car, Flexdrive and others
- Boat chartering - Sun Charters, Charter World and others
- Boat sharing - Carefree Boat Club, Boat Share Direct and many others
- Boat exchange - BVC International
- Jet sharing (air charter, fractional jet and jetpooling) - CEOFleet, JetSuite, PrivateFly, NetJets, Flexjet and others
- Bike sharing - Zagster/Pace, Velib', Citi Bikes, Bixi and others
- Computer sharing - at public libraries and cyber cafes
- Art rental programs - numerous local brands throughout the US
- Sharing communities - Ouishare, Shared Squared, The People Who Share, Unstash, Let's Collaborate, P2P Foundation
And, in a way, hotels and libraries have always existed based on the resource sharing concept, as have country clubs and yacht clubs.
So what are the other advantages of resource sharing (outside of resource efficiency and lower costs per usage)? Lack of maintenance and insurance worries. Fewer possessions to which one might feel tied. A much lighter environmental footprint. Lowered entry barriers for people with more modest financial means. The possibility of greater variety. And even a sense of community and sharing.
So, if you want to create a breakthrough business and brand, consider what else can be timeshared and then build a business and brand around it.