Author Topic: Access is the new Ownership  (Read 6849 times)

iProgramStuff

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Access is the new Ownership
« on: March 21, 2015, 04:37:54 PM »
Hey guys,

Long time Mustachian here looking for some support from this amazing community.

I've taken my Mustachian values and spun them into a company - one that will hopefully lead to a badass life of leisure for everyone involved. It also appeals to non-Mustachians (can you believe it?!).

Basically, I wanted to create a company that I truly felt helped the world, the environment, and not promote the typical consumer model. I've created a service that does this. I feel it truly creates value for everyone who uses it, and that it's not some gimmick that I need to swallow my pride to convince people to use.

Without further ado, my company is FriendlyRentr. It is a peer-to-peer rental community (or marketplace, if you will) where you can rent anything you own or need with people you can trust. I intend to open up peer-to-peer renting like eBay opened up peer-to-peer selling.

Personally, it greatly appeals to my minimalist, cost-saving nature on the renter side; I get to use things without having to pay huge upfront costs, and then having to own, store, and maintain them. As an owner, I can also make money (building my stash quicker) renting things out while I'm not using them. I also get the feel-good benefits of helping a neighbor (making a new like-minded friend) and reducing the environmental harms of consumerism. I'm trying to push this "Sharing Economy" thing to the next level. AirBnB let's people share their homes, and Uber lets people share their cars. But what about everything else? The landscape of consumerism is changing. It's no longer about 'keeping up with the Joneses'. It's time to share with the Joneses.

If you're interested in using the site, I would really appreciate it if you went to http://www.friendlyrentr.com to sign up and let your friends know about it! I'm in my initial stages getting the word out, so every little bit makes a big difference to me.

Thank you, and I wish you all the best! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns and I'd be happy to address them! :-)

'STASH ON!

Hey It's Me

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2015, 04:47:13 PM »
VERY cool idea! I just signed up myself - wish you the best of luck!

nzmamma

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2015, 04:55:16 PM »
Great idea. Good luck to you.

YoungMoney

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2015, 05:24:28 PM »
Such a cool idea! Best of luck. I would definitely use a site/service like this once it's up and running.

KungfuRabbit

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2015, 05:37:43 PM »
interesting idea.  i like it.

i'd totally rent a chainsaw right now :)

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2015, 05:39:20 PM »
Thank you so much moe_rants, nzmamma, YoungMoney, and KungfuRabbit!

I wish I had the site running for you right now. I've had a few friends in situations that would have really benefited from the site too - but it's just not ready yet. SOON!

The encouraging words help me write code. :-D

TenYearsOrLess

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 06:15:04 AM »
I'm in the process of shedding the majority of my possessions at the moment, so I like the idea of just renting things I'll need infrequently.  :)

netskyblue

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 07:32:47 AM »
Very cool, I hope this takes off!

firelight

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 01:42:34 PM »
Love the idea! We can rent almost everything we use (except clothes and utensils) since we dont use much.

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 07:11:16 AM »
That's great! I'm actually very interested in what everyone envisions using the site for.

I imagine most people won't rent 'almost everything' like cutenila - but it is an interesting thing to consider! On-demand access to things you need, when you need them. Depending on how much you use an item, I think renting is the better choice. Longer-term - if you use the item somewhat frequently, it's probably better to buy the item and then rent it out while you're not using it.

I think a lot of people would rent one-time uses - tools for a project, sounds/video/inflatable bouncy castles for an event. Maybe camping supplies (I have a tent and some other stuff that takes up so much room in my apartment for 1-2 uses per year). If I had a lawn, I'd rent a lawn mower every week or two. And a ladder. Personally, I think it's silly that in many communities almost everyone owns a ladder and a lawn mower, and they're all sitting unused in their garages most of the time - instead of collaborating to maximize the use of one. And those garages typically have so much other unused stuff that they usually can no longer fit a car in there. FriendlyRentr can be the medium for collaboration to end this ridiculousness forever :-)

What would you use the site for? :-)

Candace

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 07:32:17 AM »
Hi,

I think this is a great idea.

Are you doing it like a Nextdoor site? For those who don't know, Nextdoor is a social networking site that lets folks set up sub-sites for their communities. One person has to start the site for that community and get the word out. Mine is pretty active, with people reporting lost pets, finding babysitters, giving away stuff, reporting community problems, getting recommendations for services etc.

The reason I ask is because the rental thing sounds like it would be a good idea for people who live within several miles of each other. I would definitely rent a power washer from someone who lives under ten miles from me.

Do you intend to have policies regarding what happens in case a rented item gets damaged, or malfunctions and causes injury? Those seem like potentially problematic issues that you ought to have handled in a generic sense up front.

Best of luck!

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 09:08:42 AM »
Hi Candace!

Thanks for taking the time to type that! :-)

I like that Nextdoor thing - but does it automatically restrict you from seeing things outside of your neighborhood? I suppose I should probably do my own research on their methods.

At the moment, the site is totally open - I can search from my location (Hamilton, ON) and see things from all locations within a reasonable, user-set distance (a slider on the search page will let you adjust this). This way it is seamless - and I think it makes it easier to search another city if, say, you're going to travel and want to line up a bike or some other item for your arrival or if you are indeed willing to travel out of your neighborhood (Maybe you have a small neighborhood - or you just don't mind the cost of travel for this particular time).

You bring up great points - usually the first concerns in people's minds. The owner and renter both sign (digitally through the site) a rental contract which will stipulate how these situations will be handled. The renter also pays a rental deposit which is held in escrow until the item is returned. Many issues will need to be looked at on a case-by-case basis (For example, HOW was the item damaged?) to determine whether it is fair-use or who is 'at fault'.

We intend to offer full rental insurance to keep both the owner and renter protected from unexpected costs, though. Accidentally damaging an item may mean you forfeit the rental deposit - but I would like to pay the owner on your behalf if it is viable for the company. These cases, from my research on other sharing economy companies, are far and few between, thankfully. I think keeping people safe and secure is paramount and I'll do whatever in my means to make sure everyone is happy and safe using the service.

If an item malfunctions and causes injury, that could potentially be a huge lawsuit for anyone involved. Let's hope that never happens. FriendlyRentr should be able to take a non-liable stance so that the business itself is not at-risk. The parties involved can negotiate; FriendlyRentr could mediate. Courts could get involved, but it's like any other situation in life that carries risk (What would you do if you borrowed from a friend, or another rental company? Or simply bought it and hurt yourself?). In most cases, people will likely handle this themselves ("Yeah, it's totally my fault I cut off my finger - why would I sue you?"). I will do my best to mitigate and make people happy.

All the best,
Chris Fuller

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2015, 02:16:20 PM »
I think I came on a little too strong :-) Lol, my apologies! I have a tendency to get a little excited.

Here's a TL;DR: Yes, there will be a rental agreement in place which both parties will likely sign digitally (through the site).

Thank you for all the kind words, and everyone who signed up is awesome! If there's anything I can do for you, please don't hesitate to ask :-)

boarder42

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2015, 02:54:12 PM »
yeah you definitely need to look at legal ramifications of renting... also if i rent my mower and the guy doesnt bring it back.  so there needs to be a hold placed on the CC used etc. unless we are talking cash ... i think its a great idea but you really need to look at all the ramifications and bad things that could happen from a legal standpoint. 

situation i rent my 400 dollar mower

renter is a broke bum who really has nothing ... sells it on CL for 200... now i have now mower

or the obvious injury from item use ... or damage to the rented item. 

lots and lots of legal issues.

Secretly Saving

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2015, 05:45:13 PM »
^^^ Those were all of my concerns as well.

arebelspy

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2015, 06:08:11 PM »
Any concerns aside, I think it's badass you're starting something.  So many people don't ever take risks and try things.

I wish you the best of luck.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2015, 05:10:17 PM »
I'll make sure everything is stipulated in the rental contract and get it checked over all fancy by a real lawyer. Both people will sign this digitally :-)

The feedback (and user verification) system will do a good job ensuring you only deal with trustworthy people who won't steal your stuff. That, combined with the rental deposit and the rental insurance offered by the site should keep you protected in the rare, worst of circumstances.

I've learned a lot developing the site and business so far - and I really hope to take this somewhere awesome. The experience is invaluable though, even if this does fail.

Thanks everyone! If you have any other thoughts or feedback, I'd be happy to hear them. I'll try to get a beta this way as soon as I can :-)

Ricky

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2015, 11:41:25 PM »
I've thought of this idea before. So have others. It's popped up before, but never executed well enough to truly succeed, so good luck!

iProgramStuff

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2015, 11:41:46 AM »
Thanks Ricky! I've analyzed some other solutions and I believe to succeed where they were lacking ;-)

But we'll only know that when I put this into the hand's of the people :-)

I just wanted to let you guys know that I'll be heading on a 12-day Vipassana meditation retreat this Wednsday - so if someone asks a question on Wednesday, you know why it's taking me 2 weeks to respond!

Until then, take care everyone! :-)

Anti-ComplainyPants

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2015, 02:51:43 PM »
I agree with the above encouragement -- kick ass idea, don't stop until it's a success!

Oh, and I just signed up :D

James!

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Re: Access is the new Ownership
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2015, 02:59:24 PM »
I think the idea is solid, if you can overcome the considerable logistics. I agree, it's awesome that you're going for it!

If you see this growing to be a legit player in the sharing economy, you may consider a new name (no offense). You'll notice a trend in most of the successful young companies of short, easy, typically two syllable words that are fun to say. Hulu, Twitter, Uber, Snapchat, Etsy, etc. Not a solid rule, but something to think about. Maybe simplify a bit. Something catchy. What about just Rentr, or Borrow? Just my $0.00002.

Have fun!

-J