Waste and business model innovation

We consume at a rate that is clearly unsustainable – just look at the continent-wide plastic soup in the Pacific gyre

Yet the problem is that in a product-driven world, consumers want their washing machines to last forever and manufacturers want it to last until the warranty is expired so they can sell you another one.

If you rented the machine or paid per wash, both vendor and customer share the same desire for the product to last as long as possible.

Software has seen dramatic innovation in business models – just think of the emergence of the fremium model, Saas, and Spotify’s ‘subscribe-to-music-access, don’t actually own it.’

An alignment of interests is just as possible in hardware.  It’s great to see innovations around high idling capacity items, like p2p car sharing and land sharing, actually more-or-less-any high idle items.

We are definitively moving towards a paradigm in which the supply-demand relationship is definied by access rather than ownership. P2P platforms have led the way, and real-goods manufacturers should follow them. If they do, we will finally see some alignments of interests that make sense.

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