You Gonna Eat That? The Sharing Economy's Worst Offenders
Your parking space, half-eaten burrito, and luxury yacht could be huge moneymakers if you'd give them a chance.
Thu, August 29, 2013
IDG News Service —
The appeal of launching an app for people to pool their resources is understandable. These days, you can share your way straight to the bank. The industry's breakout hits, Lyft and Airbnb, have allowed people bypass old-fashioned businesses like taxis and hotels to great success.
But the sharing economy's worst offenders have taken a simple idea--providing a platform for people to offer goods and services to each other--and ruined it with apps that range from obtuse to just plain offensive. We found the best of the worst.
The concept: The best part about ordering takeout is all the leftovers for tomorrow. But LeftoverSwap, a San Francisco-based app still in beta, thinks you hate leftovers. You have to choose: Throw out your food or (yes, this is an option) or sell it to someone in your neighborhood who would want to buy your half-eaten dinner. Good luck finding such a lunatic.
Why so terrible? Besides the ridiculous notion that you would want to sell the rest of your meal rather than eating the leftovers or throwing them in the trash, there's the whole business of germs to contend with. The kind of person who would sell you the chewed-on remains of burrito might also be the kind of person who at this very moment is also incubating some strain of the plague. Apparently, the San Francisco Health Department agrees. The app will likely face fines and/or a crackdown if it launches as planned on August 30.
Find out for yourself: Sign up to get notified when LeftoverSwap launches.
The concept: Tie Society is like Netflix for ties. Yes, ties. You subscribe to the service, select ties to add to your online closet, sit back, and wait eagerly for your first tie to arrive in the mail. You can keep the tie, wear it around indefinitely, and send it back when you feel like it.
Why so terrible? I just don't understand why anyone would want this. Ties, unlike handbags, aren't heinously expensive,A and if you wear them often for work, buying a few seems like a worthwhile investment. If you never