Funded

ThingShare.co

A structured Craigslist for borrowing and lending video games & gear. thingshare.co

What's the big idea?

There are times when we want to borrow a video game but we don’t know which of our friends may have it. http://ThingShare.co is like a library of your friends’ video games & gear, a simple interface to enable listing & borrowing of video games. We’re not stopping there, we will do the same for other markets, for example, tools. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a site that lists all the tools available that you could borrow from your friends? Then, what if you could charge people a rental fee when they want to borrow your stuff? Now you’re able to make money from your tools/Video Games etc.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

whyown.it just launched on the iOS app store. They limit lending only to friends.
favortree.com launched this summer. Favortree gamifies doing favors for other people (including lending video games).
Gamers also turn to Craigslist, Twitter and forums to post “Can I borrow…”

How are you different from that player?

We differ from Why Own It by allowing users to rent out their Video Games to those outside of their network.
We differ from Favortree, Craigslist, Twitter, and forums by structuring the data and focusing on the Video Game market while using existing social connections via Twitter and Facebook.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

The larger vision here is to expand into other markets like the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) market, so we can lend/borrow tools. We will open the door for users to charge a rental fee and this will enable people to make money off of their tools

Why are you the one to run with this idea?

We’re a small team, well versed in the Lean Startup Model. We’ve already done a lot of the initial user testing to prove the market needs this solution. We have the development and marketing chops to succeed. We also have our minimum viable product working today, (signup now!) http://thingshare.co

There have been 17 replies to this idea

  1. Amber Halstead

    I think there is more competition in this space than you might think.  Search the Android market for “borrow”.  You’ll come up with a ton of apps.  Most help to track things you’ve lent.  They probably have less of the “find stuff my friends have” feature that you plan to have.  But BorrowBuddy looks close to your idea.  https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.applife.borrowbuddypay&feature=search_result

    Then there is also a new company called WhyOwn.it who just launched an IOS app.  That one looks very similar.  http://venturevillage.eu/video-whyown-it-app-launches

  2. Trenton Broughton

    I do like that this has a web interface instead of just being a mobile app. Does the user have the ability to request a scheduled time to borrow something (e.g. borrowing a game for a party on a specific date)?

  3. Joshua Minnie

    Although I’m not a gamer myself, I have a lot of friends that are.  This idea seems to fit well with the way they play.  They play a game for a short time (long enough to beat it if it’s a single player) and then pass it on to others or sell it back to the store and buy another one.

  4. Paul Kortman

    Owner

    Amber, Granted there may be other competitors out there, but as you’ll find out we’re still very different. Take BorrowBuddy for example, it’s focus is a self-reminder app so you can keep track of what you’ve lent out and to whom, while we do that function we focus on the library/inventory, letting others know what you have so they can make a request to you. The connections between people over an item are actually made on ThingShare versus BorrowBuddy which is a reminder/note taking app with no connections to other people.  WhyOwn.it on the other hand is very close to what we are aiming for. Our current differentiator? We’re available currently on all platforms and our goal is to open it up to non-friends in order to assist users in making money from their things.

    @Trenton, great idea, we’ll add it to the list!

    @Joshua, totally agree!  imagine if they could do more with it (and possibly earn money too!)

  5. Barry Palmerton

    Sorry, I’m not a “gamer” but if your looking for ethics in business, Paul has it.

  6. Tim Lampen

    I really like the idea but if it were me I would declassify your product as “gamers” share sitte that will eventually allow for other things and simply market it as a share everything site that is starting out with gaming. I just think if people start out viewing it as a site for only gamers, they will be less likely to take another look at it in 6-12 months when the other options are available. I just see the gaming market moving away from physical media similar to the music industry has and I think if you get locked into a single industry in people’s minds, the harder it will be to diversify your product as that industry changes. With that said you have my vote!

  7. Bob Koch

    I am not familiar with any of the apps mentioned as being similar, but I think the strength here is the ability to offer any item that is privately owned. Paul mentions tools which is a great category because we all encounter household projects that require the use of a tool we don’t have, and likely won’t need again. I can easily see including camping gear, specialized vehicles (insurance may be of concern), party supplies, even items or services for barter. He’s got my vote.

  8. Paul Kortman

    Owner

    Thanks to everyone who has voted and given us incredible feedback, the vision is to be way more than just video games… And no matter what the Start Garden outcome is on Thursday we’ve received over 100 points of feedback which has been extremely invaluable. Looking forward to more of your comments!

  9. Zachary Lassiter

    Happy to throw my support behind this idea from a fellow H&H… seems like a great idea.

  10. Tom Schwab

    I’m not a gamer, but I think the idea has merit.  If you’ve ever read the book COLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION or watched the TED talk of hte same name from RAchael Botsman you too would understand how the trust and reputation build on the internet is allow people to live a better life for less by sharing homes (Airbnb) Cars (Zipcar) and other items.  If we can’t afford what we want and have learned the dangers of buying it on credit, why not share.

  11. Paul Kortman

    Owner

    Right on Tom! That’s the vision we have. Thanks for your support!

  12. Andy Keller

    Tom has the right idea. I had a great discussion with Paul and he has a big vision for where this can go.

  13. Amy Scott

    I’m not a gamer but love this idea in general. It’s so ridiculous all the items we hang on to for the few times a month/year that we need them. Sharing/renting them is the way to go. Someone else just suggested the book Collaborative Consumption to me; will definitely be checking that out.

  14. Paul Kortman

    Owner

    Thanks Andy and Amy!—we’re excited about the possibilities for this idea!

  15. Dan Banta

    Knowing Paul, I believe this will be done the correct way with lots of integrity.

  16. Paul Kortman

    Owner

    Thank you all for your help!—This is only the beginning!

  17. Trenton Broughton

    Way to go Paul!

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This idea is funded

This idea was funded by public endorsement on September 27, 2012. Since then...

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