Peers, Inc.

Ten years after she founded Zipcar, Robin Chase has a new business venture. She and her husband have moved to Paris to start BuzzCar – a new service that allows individuals to rent out their personal vehicles to their peers in the neighborhood.

In this TED talk, Chase describes the benefits of a peer-to-peer service where the business side (the “Inc.”) does what it does best: economies of scale; resource investment; expertise; standards, rules and recourse; and brand promise…

…And the “Peers” side contributes what peers do best: diversity; localization; customization; social networks; and innovation.

The most important ingredient, according to Chase? It’s the right platform for participation that gets the right people involved, connected and engaged.

Chase makes a compelling argument that while she has built a good platform for participation for the transportation industry, this concept can be (and is) used across a variety of social, political and business challenges, including energy and climate change; health care; housing; education; and so on.

What’s your idea for peer-to-peer services that solve real-world challenges? And how would you build the right platform for participation?

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