Designed around the incredible power of people.
Imagine for a moment there are people that want to buy things they can’t afford. For most of us this is easy to imagine, regardless, what do folks do? Most will forgo buying the things they want and miss out on the experience the item could provide. Others will delay purchasing something until they can afford it, so missing out on the experience by delaying it, while others may purchase a lesser quality item that may not fulfill their expectations.
Toy and Tool helps to solve the affordability part of the equation by allowing people to purchase exactly what they want by sharing the cost of the item with other like-minded folks in the community, for a fee. In this way the owner of the item uses the desirability and value of the item to pay for itself.
Sharing an item with like-minded people is the other end of the equation that makes the model work. Kayaking is a great example, and as someone who enjoys kayaking I can tell you it’s very difficult to go kayak without one. That would be called swimming. So how do you get a Kayak if you can’t afford to buy one?
In your community there is likely someone else with the same affordability dilemma; they want a Kayak but can’t afford one. Or perhaps they want a kayak but want to try it first to see if they would enjoy it; or perhaps it’s not an activity they would participate in enough to make worthwhile; or perhaps they have no place to store a kayak; or no way to transport it; OR perhaps they want to go Kayaking but other activities in mind they would enjoy more, so they invest in that activity instead. We’ll talk about this last person later. Either way there are many excuses we can use to talk ourselves out of purchasing the things we want, regardless of what decision we make, we’re still interested in trying Kayaking for ourselves.
So although people may not be willing to buy an item for themselves, they’re likely willing to pay a small fee to own the experience of enjoying the item instead, provided the item is affordable and the process is easy. From this perspective, the platform not only helps individuals experience an item, but it also helps to satisfy all the questions they may have had surrounding the responsibility of owning item, the main one being, will I enjoy the experience enough to make ownership worthwhile.
Let’s go a step further
Remember the person who didn’t want to buy a kayak because they thought they might enjoy another activity more? This is where the real magic of community sharing happens and the part of the model I love the most. Because the person who rented the Kayak didn’t buy a Kayak, and instead used their money to buy, for example the best mountain bike ever, they can now rent that bike out on Toy and Tool to offset the cost of ownership. And who would they rent it to? They rent the mountain bike to the same person who owns the Kayak that they rented previously.
The reason why this is magical is that you now have different people in the community participating in activities that otherwise may not have been available or affordable, while the cost of ownership is distributed amongst members of the community as a whole. Overall the act of sharing in this way helps us to engage more actively in our community while creating positive and respectful relationships with our neighbours.
Economic and community benefits
Furthermore if the economic benefits are not obvious let me spell it out further. With individuals renting out the items they own for a fee, after awhile the items pay for themselves, and soon after these same items start putting added disposable income into people’s pockets. And from there help to improve our community economies.
One final point I’ll make is the potential effect community sharing has for the public purse. Generally speaking, improving community health and wellbeing is the domain of our local governments. Creating and maintaining programs, sponsoring events, and facilitating product purchases takes money, a lot of money. However if a portion of the costs required to improve community health and wellbeing could be payed for naturally as a byproduct of our platform, that means more money from the public purse could be used to go towards other services, or perhaps even a reduction in taxes as less support would be required from the government. You choose.