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Über dieses Buch

Providing a colorful insight into the people at the forefront of the emergent Sharing Economy, a movement predicted to already be worth around $26B a year, this book gives vital advice to anyone thinking of starting or investing in a collaborative consumption business. The first of its kind, written by an author on the forefront of this new trend.



The Billion Dollar Moustache

It was 2 am in San Francisco. Leather-jacketed hipsters were crowding into the taco joints and I could hear drum rolls coming from a bar somewhere down the dirty boulevard. And a car with a fluffy pink moustache was headed straight for me.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 1. Architects

Building on New Ground
The bay glittered in the hot morning sun and the seagulls wheeled above me. I was waiting in line for my ferry at San Francisco’s grand Ferry Building. As weekend shoppers browsed the organic farmers’ market, I was nervously planning out my lunch appointment with Lisa Gansky across the bay.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 2. We the People

Selfish Sharers
It was supposed to be a leisurely brunch but Brittney Bedford was hard at work. By most people’s standards, Bedford does not have a job. By most people’s standards, she is also a workaholic. Bedford placed her iPhone between us on the diner’s Formica table. Every other minute it vibrated with a new notification from the many apps that fill her working life. “My office is my phone,” she told me, one eye on the screen of her scratched iPhone. Bedford makes her living solely through sharing economy platforms. The 27-year-old Oakland resident rents out a spare room on Airbnb. She sells second-hand clothes on Poshmark. She dogsits on DogVacay. She runs errands and does chores on TaskRabbit. Between mouthfuls of scrambled egg, Bedford flicked through new TaskRabbit postings and Airbnb enquiries. “This is my job so I try to be as professional as possible,” Bedford told me. She explained how 80-hour working weeks are common and how she and her husband have been trying to take a day off for over a month.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 3. Founders

Visionaries and Doers
Just a few years after the greatest downturn since the Great Depression, it felt like the economy was healthier than ever. At least in some places. I was perched on a stool in a sleek, candle-lit San Francisco bar surrounded by 30-somethings drinking wine at $15 a glass. I was there to meet ShelbyClark, the founder of RelayRides. The last time we had met, he had pulled up in a bright yellow convertible. This time, Clark went one better. He strolled into the bar in a flared orange suit, holding aloft a giant disco ball. With his handlebar moustache immaculately curled above his huge and infectious smile, Clark explained that he had just come from RelayRides’ Halloween party.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 4. Investors

All Bets Are On (All $4 Billion of Them)
I was standing on hallowed ground. But I was determined not to wither in awe. I glanced quickly around the high-ceilinged lobby of Sequoia Capital, at the flat screen TVs and the framed logos of the once obscure companies that the venture capital fund has helped grow into giants: Apple, Cisco,Google, LinkedIn, Oracle, PayPal, WhatsApp, Yahoo, and—small by comparison but growing ever-faster—Airbnb. Those logos reminded me that Sequoia Capital is more than just Silicon Valley history, that its companies have shaped civilization as we know it. Every CEO in the world wants to meet with Sequoia Capital. I had an hour and I needed to give the pitch of my life.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 5. Corporates

Angry, Afraid—and In
A severe grey-suited man stared long and hard at our passports. Then he locked them away and phoned ahead for clearance. At the BMW research labs in Munich, Germany, they take no chances. In 2011, BMW had invested in JustPark, then a tiny startup known as It was the beginning of an unusual collaboration between a startup that then had just a single employee and a corporate titan. But that was half the point.
Alex Stephany

Chapter 6. Governments

Fits and Starts
10 Downing Street. I was in a grand and gilded reception room overlooking the Prime Minister’s garden as Daniel Korski, David Cameron’s suave special advisor, leaned over to me and said, “Write this. Write that in Paris they tried to ban sharing economy businesses and that in London, we invited you to Downing Street.”
Alex Stephany

A Shared Future?

The efficiency was Germanic but I could have been anywhere. Just off the orderly bustle of Potsdamer Platz in the center of Berlin, I was checking into my suite at the Marriott. Although I had never stayed there before, everything felt oddly familiar. I remember wheeling my suitcase through the revolving doors and into the church-like calm of the hotel lobby. It felt like entering a different world, an older world, where time moved more slowly.
Alex Stephany


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