Guest Room

The Mesh. Why the Future of Business is Sharing.

By Bob on October 13, 2010 6:49 AM

Lisa Gansky's new book is about a simple idea: some things are better shared. No, it's not a socialist manifesto. It's a radical new way of looking at commerce. The pioneering entrepreneur calls it the Mesh and reveals why it will soon dominate the future of business.

The Mesh Book Cover - 350.jpg

As every Baby Boomer knows, there's a lot to be said for owning things. Hell, most of us have spent our lifetimes doing just that - the new car, boat, beach house, riding mower. You name it. We've acquired it.


But Lisa reminds us that the "ownership" mindset has often blinded our business brains.


The fact is that our commerce, not to mention our social lives, has always depended on sharing. "Share platforms" are everywhere - from the telephone lines and wireless networks, to public art and parks. Now, a new era of sharing-based businesses is beginning.


Businesses as big as Netflix or Zipcar have figured out there's gold in giving people convenient access to shared goods.


We asked Lisa to give Boomers some tips on how to put the Mesh to work for them and she graciously accepted. I think you'll agree this woman is on to something.

Seven ways to earn and save in the new Mesh sharing economy

Boomers are particularly well set to take advantage of the thousands of new "Mesh" businesses and organizations where they can save (or make) money through sharing. These services offer convenient access to goods, while avoiding the hassles and expense of owning them. Following are just a few examples. Dozens more are listed at meshing it.


  1. Earn money from your car. Most automobiles sit in the driveway or parking lot 22 hours a day or more. Several new services now offer safe and secure ways for you to rent your first or second car to your neighbors and earn hundreds of dollars. Rent-your-car services include Whipcar in the UK, RelayRides, and Divvycar, a site that helps you create your own private car-share service.
  2. Rent your parking space. Whether you car-share or just have an empty driveway in a desirable spot, services such as ParkAtMyHouse, spotscout and YourParkingSpace offer you ways of earning extra cash from that vacant spot.
  3. Swap or rent your home or apartment. Many people already use services like VRBO to find vacation homes. Now, more new services that enable you to rent out your home, a room, or just a place on the couch are coming online. Boomers often own homes that are bigger than they need once the kids of left, opening up opportunities to trade down or travel at a profit. Popular services include Home For Home, VRBO, Home For Swap, Reciplocation, RoofSwap, and many others.

  4. Earn more interest. Social lending marketplaces are secure places for people to lend and borrow, peer-to-peer. Lenders get higher returns and borrowers pay lower interest rates. Popular sites include Zopa, Prosper, and Lending Club.
  5. Spruce up your wardrobe. Clothing rental sites allow fashionistas to look their best and save money at the same time. Rent The Runway, Avelle, Bag, Borrow or Steal, Rent Maternitywear and Adorn are a few of the more prominent ones.
  6. Trade up for something. Goods swap marketplaces unite and enable swappers to exchange goods they no longer need for goods they want. Active swap sites include Swap.com, Swapster, Swap Simple, and You Swap.
  7. Have some fun. Like to read? Trade books you've finished for those you want to read at Bookins or Book Mooch. Ever dreamed of becoming a winemaker? Crushpad and City Winery offer access to great grapes, expert winemakers, and all the facilities to make and even sell your own premium wine. Or, just pedal away (and lose a few pounds) with one of the dozens of bike-sharing programs in U.S. cities--or perhaps near that great Paris apartment you swapped for. Bon voyage!

About Lisa Gansky

Lisa Gansky-125.jpgA founder and CEO of several internet companies, including GNN (the first web portal sold to AOL) and the largest consumer photo sharing and print service, Ofoto (sold to Eastman Kodak in 2001), Lisa's attention is on sustainable ventures with positive social impact. She puts a strong emphasis on clean energy, social networks, accelerating community engagement and awareness & exploring new platforms & business models.

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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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