It has been just over 15 years since Airbnb changed the way we think about where we stay. They democratised property rental and rewarded a whole generation of property owners and travellers alike. Since then, we've seen many other sectors transformed by the sharing economy. From food delivery (Deliveroo, Uber Eats) to transport (BlaBlaCar, Uber, Lime) to self-storage (Stashbee, StoreMate), we are witnessing a fundamental change to the way people are accessing goods and services.
But what about the humble marketplace? Commerce is a story as old as time, from the bazaars and souks to eBay and Gumtree. Not much has been done with this traditional model of buying and selling, except perhaps the 'mobile revolution', where marketplaces simply got a facelift for smartphone access.
Our vision for the future of marketplaces
If you think about it, it never really makes sense to buy something and hold onto it while you're not using it. We live in a world of overconsumption, facilitated by the traditional ecommerce models and incumbent buy/sell marketplaces.
Why not rethink the model, and instill a cultural shift towards temporary ownership? Imagine a world where everything you owned was online for people to buy, borrow or rent off you. Your car, your bikes, clothes, books, powertools - even the food in your cupboards - listed on an online profile. You could browse the profiles of other people around you, moving items (and ownership) from profile to profile, seamlessly.
- Need a powerdrill for 30 minutes? Bob round the corner will rent you his.
- Looking for a new book to read? Sarah nextdoor has all of her books listed on her Paperclip profile.
- Run out of cinnamon and need a dash for that apple pie? That house across the street has some, even though you've never met them before.
This would get you what you want, when you want it, and for far cheaper, faster and more sustainable than buying new. That's the future that Paperclip is working towards.
Over the course of this year, we'll be taking the necessary steps to transform the culture of consumption and provide a marketplace that truly serves the people. Stay posted!
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