Tool-Sharing Innovator Post-Mortem Uncovers Systemic Issues in Our Convenience Economy
Expensive, hard to transport and long-lived compared with other consumer goods, tools are a good model for the sharing economy. But how do you keep tools functioning in an era of built-in obsolescence, and how can you keep a lid on staff and storage costs when the library model depends heavily on both? Shareable connected with a Berlin-based sharing project that aims to get affordable tools into the hands of renters, who generally could not afford to buy them.
Leihbar (‘shareable’ in German), a Berlin item-sharing project, began in the 2012 peer-to-peer sharing platform boom as a way for people with underused items to loan them to those who needed them but soon iterated multiple times, looking for a sustainable business model.