Some people think the flurry of sharing economy companies such as Airbnb and Uber is a fad or a bubble. I think the creation of new marketplaces, new trading floors, is a pretty powerful thing. Spare capacity, widely but thinly distributed: establishing a way to trade in such stuff is the idea. You have an unused bedroom part of the year when your kid is at school: put it on Airbnb. It’s not radical to rent out a spare room like this, but new, cheap, low friction marketplaces make radical differences in finding a market and facilitating transactions. You can be a minicapitalist without the efficiencies of a firm. A powerful notion, at any rate, I think, and still underexploited.
In certain markets, supply may be broadbased but demand may not be: taxi riders and taxi drivers constitute different strata. What about the market for entertainment? How would that compare? Who’s got extra cash and a jaded palate? Who’s got a spare 30 minutes all of a sudden now that she’s forgotten her sandwich at home and has a lunch break with nothing to do? So I propose…
Unter: matching bored magnates and jaded heiresses with entertaining broke people.
Short on cash? Know any songs? Let Unter home in on your GPS location and ping it to nearby entertainment-seeking neo-aristocrats. Then let Unter help you use your spare time productively and earn some extra money. So many options: sing some tasteful lieder, perform an expressive dance routine, tell some jokes, compose an impromptu encomium to your benefactor, or, by deselecting safe mode and submitting a simple clearance form signed by your physician, give adult mode a whirl.
So, heads up, Maecenas, I’ve got some downtime before my bus gets here and some plausible rhymes for “big-picture creative real estate strategist.”