Disturbed by the sight of dead Christmas trees lying on the curb after the holiday, Los Angeles-based landscaper Scott Martin had an idea. Why not rent people living Christmas trees?
He set up a website and offered different types of live trees in a variety of sizes. Customers specified which tree, what size and on which day it would be delivered and where. Scott and his team also offered decorations for the trees they rented. After the holiday, each customer selected a day for the tree to be picked-up and Scott and his team even recycled the gift wrap and packaging. The trees were either returned to the nursery to be cared for and sold later or donated. An all around joyful holiday win for the customers, Scott and team, the community and the environment.
Like Scott’s company, many will increasingly focus on sharing as a core part of their offering in the New Year. So here are some to watch out for in 2011:
1. Propel peer-to-peer. Our peers are our customers and our purveyors. The mobile Web, location-based services, inexpensive and pervasive mobile apps, and new sorts of opportunities to access cars, bikes, tools, talent, and more from our neighbors and colleagues will propel peer-to-peer access services into market. I expect we’ll see many new offerings from popup general stores to car-, bike- and home-sharing services. These peer-to-peer structures will inevitably challenge the ‘fleet’ ownership structure of companies like ZipCar and Bcycle. Will they hedge their bets or massage their offerings?