Startups, stop saying you’re the “Airbnb of X, Y, Z” right NOW

Repeat after me: you are not the Airbnb of industry x, y or even z. Matt Murphy of Kleiner Perkins, said last week at Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference that he was getting sick of startups trying to rent out spare rooms, tools, books and gardening tools. The sharing economy was hot for a while, but you probably won’t raise any money for it anymore.

‘Home sharing’ platform Airbnb has great traction in the market. In 2012, Airbnb gave shelter to 3 million guests worldwide and lists 300 000 properties (that’s including 200 tree houses). And things like Uber or car sharing makes sense because the price of owning houses and cars is so high.

But things like sharing bicycles just doesn’t make sense economically speaking. In other words: you’re wasting your time if you try to make people share low value items. Richard Wong, partner at Accel Partners said:

“There comes a point where you take things to their extreme.”

So don’t do that.

[FT][Photo: NEXT Berlin, Flickr]

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Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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