Coffee Brake: The Sharing Ecarnomy

Welcome to DT’s weekly traditional Coffee Brake feature, where we take off our sensible trousers…and wear them on our head like a hat.  This week I’d like to talk a little bit about the future.  Not the dystopian Mad Max future filled with 6×6 Pinzgauers (although, that does have its charms if you are into gas masks and refining your own gasoline) but the happy future built on the sharing economy.  Just what is the “sharing economy” might be a good question, so lets take a closer look.

Wikipedia defines the sharing economy as peer-to-peer-based sharing of access to goods and services (coordinated through community-based online services).  The internet (particularly mobile access) opened up an entire new ability for people to utilize goods/services that would otherwise go unused — you can use airbnb to rent a room or house that would otherwise be unoccupied, turo and getaround will let you rent other peoples cars (like this 2016 Corvette for $108 a day), spinlister will let you rent a bike from a neighbor, dogvacay is a good place to find a person willing to watch your dog while you are on vacation,  taskrabbit  or zaarly  are place where you can get all kinds of stuff done for cheap (or get murdered/search for victims), lyft uber sidecar are well known ways to get a cheap taxi, lending club allows you to borrow or loan money to strangers, Fon is a place to share you wifi network password with strangers who certainly won’t download the latest Mariah Carey album and get you a DMCA cease and desist letter, and you can sell your clothes on Poshmark and share all kinds of stuff on Neighborgoods…the list goes on.

But, can you find a turbocharged depreciated 90s supercar to drive on the weekend in any of these services?  Maybe…probably not. Would you want to? 

Most of the car related services are geared towards inexpensive daily rentals, but I’ve envisioned a sharing service like the Classic Car Club of Manhattan, but without the pomp and country club level entry fee.  $5k-$10k cars that are cool (you’ve seen ’em here on these pages) that would be loaned out for a week at a time for a reasonable fee — or perhaps your donation of your own junker from the 90s.  Manual gearboxes would be preferred, but a few old crummy autos would be tossed into the mix….but you see where I’m going with this.

Is this a terrible idea? Or what?