Biz Idea #74 – Got Some Sugar?

by Byron on April 16, 2012

The Problem:

We live in a world where we don’t know our neighbors.  So often, your neighbor has the thing you need, but you don’t even know.   These are separate but related problems.

It used to be you had relationships with your neighbors, so it was easy to ask for something you needed.  You could walk over to your neighbors door and ask for some sugar.  Now, you don’t know your neighbor, you bought a sixty pound bag of sugar from Sam’s Club, and you’re probably to proud to ask anybody for anything anyway.

Instead of being organized around the relationship and asking to borrow something, couldn’t we just be organized around the stuff and actually form a relationship through the stuff?

The Business

GotSomeSuger.com.

A website where people catalog their belongings that they’re willing to share.  They state how close you must live in order to share.  There is a policy that if you break it you buy it.

Doableness

It’s just another sharing economy idea and website.  You need good engineering and good marketing, just like every other website or web app.

It’s possible that it works better as a tack-on service to something like NextDoor, a social network for neighborhoods.  It’s one thing to have the GotSomeSugar idea or build a product that enables neighborly sharing, but trying to build the community on top of it and build scale is exceedingly difficult.

My Thoughts

I would say just build it on top of facebook.  However, what happens when their walled garden comes down?  Also, even though Facebook has the data, they won’t let app developers use data that personal (like exact location of residence), right?  I’m only pretty sure I’m correct about that.

Sergey Brin is talking about the Facebook walled garden issue in the Guardian.  I understand he is biased.  He wants Google to succeed, and Google and Facebook are competitors, to a large degree.  But he’s right.  I’m scared, as well.  I don’t want Facebook to be the Internet.  (I don’t think it is, but you could glimpse that scary world if you look at the future from a certain angle.)

But, I digress.  I just wanted to use someone’s juicer.

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