Brute Hustle #2, by K. Tighe
I’m smitten on sharing.
So when I decided to return to San Francisco earlier this year, I had one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) in mind: do my part in moving the Collaborative Consumption movement forward.
This was serendipitously almost the exact moment that TaskRabbit—a company I deeply admire for its role as a pioneer in the Sharing Economy—invited me to work with them. Not a bad start to my #BHAG2012.
In the DIY community, we’ve long been wise to the values of collaboration and co-working. The flagship marketplace Etsy is rooted in peer-to-peer transaction—a cornerstone concept of the CollCons movement. Now, a new crop of companies has emerged in the sharing space, providing an infrastructure to help entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive. These sites lower the barrier for entry for entrepreneurs and float us through the broke times—all while helping move our brands forward.
Hustle Tip #2: Diversify your revenue streams and grow your brand by plugging into the Collaborative Consumption movement.
At Poor Taste, the food news startup I founded, we’re still very much in bootstrap mode. So how could we leverage the Sharing Economy to keep the lights on while pushing our brand forward? Here are the options we’re looking at:
Through Vayable, our editors and contributors can set up neighborhood food tours in the cities we cover. We can show tourists and locals alike how to navigate the food scenes in L.A.’s Koreatown, Chicago’s Pilsen or San Francisco’s Mission. This lets us further position ourselves as experts in culinary awesomeness, allows us to meet would-be readers in an offline environment and puts a little coin in the pig.
We have mad skills when it comes to intimidating things like shopping at Thai grocery stores, making pie crust from scratch and pairing cheap (but yummy) wines with dinner. Through Skillshare, our editors and contributors can make money by teaching others. Poor Taste’s whole mission to smack the intimidation out of food and drink appreciation, and Skillshare provides another (paying) channel for that.
One of the things all Poor Tasters share is an appreciation for the role food can play in gathering people together. There’s a spankin’ new company called LifeCrowd that provides an easy way for Poor Taste to make a little income hosting offline social food events. Events like grilled cheese cook-offs, speakeasy brunches, lowbrow high teas and culinary bookclubs. Lifecrowd already has a recurring Chinese food and Mahjong event—wish we’d thought of that.
We already spend a lot of time at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, what if we could supplement our food budget by picking up other people’s groceries? That’s exactly what TaskRabbit makes possible by connecting busy people with neighbors like us who want to help out and make a little extra money. Since we’re also food experts, we can pick up tasks like selecting beer or wine, cooking dinner party meals in people’s homes and baking holiday cookies. We’d make some dough and probably nab some devoted readers along the way.
Airbnb lets anyone with a spare room or futon make some extra income. We love the idea of being cultural ambassadors of our city by playing B&B host to food-minded out-of-towners. We’d stock the kitchen with local coffee, beer and baked goods, provide expert culinary guidance to off-the-beaten path eateries, and make sure every guest leaves with a local’s knowledge of our city (and the URL to Poor Taste, naturally).
K. Tighe is the founder, publisher, editor-in-chief, and Chief Taco Officer of Poor Taste, a collaborative online magazine covering the underbelly of food and drink culture. In addition to basking in the bahn mi and bourbon perks associated with running a food publication, Tighe spends her days getting geeky over micro-entrepreneurship and the collaborative consumption movement as Content Strategist for TaskRabbit. Click here for the Brute Hustle Archive. @k_tighe | firstname.lastname@example.org