O'Reilly logo

YouthNation: Building Remarkable Brands in a Youth-Driven Culture by Matt Britton

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 6The Peer-to-Peer Economy

Just like in the old village square where we relied on our neighbors and fellow villagers to supply what we could not provide for ourselves, we are witnessing a community-fueled renaissance of sharing among what just a decade ago would be seen as complete strangers. The urbanization of America and its newfound population density has spawned a new powerful by-product of the Internet: the peer-to-peer economy.

When eBay first exploded in the late nineties during the original Internet boom, the novelty of selling your old stuff directly to somebody else without the need for a middleman was almost too cool to pass up. The Internet's connective powers began to allow consumers from all walks of life to buy and sell anything directly to each other. A user-generated ratings system helped ensure you wouldn't get ripped off, fostering a thriving community of eBay users. Today eBay is a $60 billion company, and it stands tall among a growing graveyard of traditional retailers like Circuit City and Blockbuster Video.

Why buy a camera from a store when there is an unused one sitting in a closet 10 blocks away at a fraction of the price? Why pay for a dog sitter tonight when someone three doors down with a love for dogs and an empty calendar is willing to do it for free, or for a service you can provide in exchange? Increasingly the products and services YouthNation is looking for are coming from peers instead of businesses, and as a result an entirely different ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required